Weber School District opens second teen center at Bonneville High School

Emily Oyler, executive director of the Weber School Foundation, speaks at the opening of the Bonneville Teen Center at Bonneville High School in Washington Terrace, Weber County, on Tuesday.

Emily Oyler, executive director of the Weber School Foundation, speaks at the opening of the Bonneville Teen Center at Bonneville High School in Washington Terrace, Weber County, on Tuesday. (Logan Stefanich, KSL.com)


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WASHINGTON TERRACE, Weber County — Over 900 students identify as homeless in the Weber School District. Many rely on couch surfing at the homes of friends and family for a steady place to live, and that's only if those options are available.

With that in mind, the school district on Tuesday opened its second teen center to serve as a safe haven and provide vital resources for students who may be experiencing homelessness, housing or food insecurity, or any other situation that could impede their access to quality education.

"They may have a place to sleep, but their water may be shut off so they can't do their laundry; they can't take a shower. They're self-conscious about coming to school in the same clothes or clothes that might smell funny. So those are just basic human rights needs that every kid should have access to — and a lot of them do not," said Emily Oyler, executive director of the Weber School Foundation.

As the second center of its kind in the district — the first opened its doors at Ogden's Two Rivers High School in September — the space provides a plethora of services to students, including showers, a kitchen area, laundry facilities, a food pantry and quiet areas for studying where students can utilize district Wi-Fi to work on assignments.

The Utah Legislature in 2023 appropriated $15 million to create new teen centers in Utah's high schools, and Oyler said the Weber School District received over $1 million in funding to build its teen centers.

In addition to school hours, the center will be open before and after school to accommodate students in extracurricular activities.

"There's going to be a caring adult in there at all times that will help offer additional community resources that may not be available right here in the teen center — academic support, a way to apply for scholarships. They'll be able to have assistance with FAFSA (, so student aid-type things so that once they do graduate, they have that link, too," Oyler said.

Oyler said about 30 kids use the Two Rivers Teen Center every day, a testament to the need for the centers in the district. She and other district and school personnel said they anticipate a lot of use out of the Bonneville Teen Center, too.

"Bonneville High School is steeped in tradition and has always had a strong connection with its surrounding communities," said Rich Murray, principal at Bonneville High School. "Our new teen center represents the character and commitment of Bonneville High School and Weber School District to continue to strengthen this connection. All students now have an opportunity to utilize a space where they can meet their basic needs."

Steve Kier, chairman of the Weber School Foundation teen center committee, said students and community members can help by donating food, clothing, personal hygiene items, school supplies and money that will go toward supplying and funding other teen centers.

Officials said they have plans to build six teen centers in total across the school district, with the next one currently under construction at Roy High School; it is expected to be completed in August.

Three more teen centers will be built at Weber High School, Fremont High School and Westfield High School.

"This is an issue, and this is something that our kids are facing right now," Oyler said. "And this is not something that is their fault. Communities need to come together and support these kids and make sure that they have the resources that they need to excel in their lives and kind of break that cycle that they're in for no reason of their own."

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and tech news.

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