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Overcrowding brings possible boundary changes at Weber County schools

PLAIN CITY, Weber County — When Fremont High School opened in 1994, it was made to hold about 1,750 students. Today, the enrollment is closer to 2,100, with 15 portables to handle the overflow.

Principal Rod Belnap has watched the area grow over the years.

"It's a fantastic school, but we're out of room," Belnap said. "(It) makes it so that it's difficult to conduct business in a normal way."

For the first time ever, Belnap says a schoolwide assembly will have to be held in two sessions. The auditorium seats 1,100. Growth concerns have put Fremont High at the center of a boundary adjustment study. Increased enrollment at area elementary schools will also be considered in the district study. Weber School District spokesman Lane Findlay says new home construction has especially picked up in the northwest end of the county in recent years.

"We've seen about a 20 percent increase over the last 10 years," Findlay explained. "There's a lot of economic growth, and with that comes some growing pains."

Committees are currently being formed, made up of school principals, teachers and parents. The groups will likely meet in January, followed by open houses later in the year where parents will have a chance to give their input. Findlay says new elementary schools and a high school will eventually be needed, but not in the immediate future.

To handle growth at Fremont High School, Findlay says district leaders anticipate sending some incoming freshmen to neighboring Roy and Weber high schools.

"We could probably add 50 to 100 students to each school without causing a lot of inconvenience," Findlay said. "They're both right around 80 to 92 percent capacity, so there's room there."

Findlay says the hope is to have the changes in place for fall of next year. The adjusted boundaries would allow for some exceptions. Findlay says families that have one child already at Fremont would not have to send another child to a different high school.