WEST BEND (WITI) -- It is a merger that could create the largest high school in Wisconsin! Currently, West Bend East and West Bend West share a building, but the community is split over whether it should stay that way.
"I graduated in 1990, and there was still talk back then about combining the schools -- making it one big school," Adam Rady said.
An East-West merger would create the state's largest high school. Similar movements failed in 1992, and again in 2008. Those who want the Spartans and Suns to do battle on their own say it's a matter of creating opportunities for as many kids as possible.
"It puts more kids actually in sports and activities and clubs. What else are these kids gonna do if they`re not involved in all these activities? So I think it`s very important," Amy Kreutzer said.
The school district held a public feedback session on Tuesday evening, September 16th. In attendance was Joel Hausmann, who graduated in 1970 -- the class before West Bend High School split in two. He wants a reunion -- arguing the sports teams would be more competitive, which would benefit the community.
"It`s a sense of pride more than anything and I think that brings people to games because they`re proud of their West Bend High School team," Hausmann said.
The district says there would be no academic impact one way or the other. While re-branding as one school would cost an estimated $180,000 -- officials say they'd pay for that with the savings from fewer coaches' salaries and less travel.
Ultimately, it's a matter of what the community thinks would bring the best return.
"I think we`ll work together -- whether it`s one or two. It`s just an opinion a lot of people have one way or the other," Hausmann said.
This is the first of four scheduled feedback sessions. The public will have a chance to make comments to the school board Monday night. The board does have the final say in this matter and can make a decision as soon as October 6th.