It's been a great start to a new school year. It's exciting to see students and staff in our schools once again. Preparing our students for the future is what we are all about. With this preparation comes the need to not only address each student's needs, but also to address issues and concerns that arise within the district. One of those issues is our district's rapid growth rate. We continue to grow at an accelerated pace, and we expect to add an additional 1500 students over the next four years. We have aging school buildings that present handicap access and safety concerns. There are overcrowding issues in many of our classrooms. The Board of Education and Weber School District leadership has stewardship to address these needs as well as to proactively plan for the future.
In an effort to meet these needs, the Board of Education voted to place a $97 million general obligation bond proposition on the November 7th ballot. This decision followed recommendations and input from the public engaged in the process through community meetings, school councils and PTAs, faculty and employee meetings, social media and two bond surveys. If approved, there will be NO increase to the property tax rate.
Our bond projects are projected to begin in 2018 with a 12 classroom addition to Fremont High School, a new elementary school in Farr West (Remuda) and a new elementary school in Pleasant View. In 2019 we are projected to rebuild Roy Junior High School and expand capacity at Weber Innovation High School. Weber Innovation High School offers personalized learning opportunities through a combination of digital curriculum in a blended teaching model, as well as traditional and early college courses. Weber Innovation High School is available to students from all four of our traditional high schools. Currently, we have 250 students attending; however, the board would like to expand that number to as many as 600-700 students. This would not only provide an additional option to families throughout our school district, but would also ease some pressure from crowded high schools.
We realize that there are additional needs above and beyond projects included on this bond. Weber School District has always followed a philosophy to take care of our most immediate needs. We realize there will probably be a need for another bond in the next 5 to 6 years. We have learned from other districts that have asked for more than what the public has been willing to pay.
As we go through this process, please know there will be opportunities for your input. The Superintendency will be at every school and community during the months of September and October to inform and receive feedback. Please contact your local school for scheduling information. As always, thank you for your support.