Weber School District has seen a spike in its student population since it last put a bond before voters in 2012.
About 1,500 more students have enrolled in the 32,000-pupil district in the past four years, said district spokesman Lane Findlay, with nearly 500 of them joining the district last school year.
That growth has brought overcrowding to the district’s elementary and high schools, a problem district officials hope to alleviate with a $97 million bond put up for voter approval on Tuesday.
“You have a lot of portable classrooms and a lot of crowding in hallways,” said Rod Belnap, former principal of Fremont High School, which would add 12 additional classrooms if the bond succeeds. “It makes it really complicated to manage that many kids in a confined area.”
“You’d rather have all the students in one space, which lends itself to a better school climate for everyone in the building,” Belnap said.
Because the Weber bond would be funded by existing debt capacity, its approval would not result in a property tax increase, officials said.
The $97 million bond would pay to build two new elementary schools – one in Farr West and another in Pleasant View – and bring down student populations at the district’s existing elementary schools. The district redrew boundaries last year to alleviate some of its overcrowding, but Findlay said some elementary schools, including as Majestic elementary, have not seen the hoped-for relief to overcrowding.
Bond funds would also pay to rebuild 61-year-old Roy Jr. High School and to expand Weber Innovation High School. Those and other bond-funded projects would be finished by 2021, according to the proposal.