SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Cemetery is getting crowded.
"Until we get this expansion finished ... we have a projection that we would potentially run out of grave locations … towards the end of next year," said district manager Ron Jacobs of the Santa Maria Cemetery District.
Managers with the cemetery district said the cemetery began filling up since the start of COVID-19.
"COVID-19 played a significant part in this … if I had to look at the trends on the number of deaths ... and then also the number of people looking for pre-needs ... you know kind of getting that preparation … I would say it’s probably doubled in the number of people that have needed this," said Jacobs.
So they’re expanding the cemetery by several acres.
"We are filling up and we need to look toward the future in right now … that’s what we’re doing ... and it's a very expensive project expansion … probably about $2 million dollars at least … for the expansion," said chair Lee Diaz of the Santa Maria Cemetery District Trustees.
Managers with the cemetery district said they hope this expansion will last for the next 100 years.
"I hope we can finish this expansion as soon as possible," said Diaz.
The expansion is meant to enable future generations to be buried alongside their loved ones.
The project is expected to be completed in 2022.