They share much, but are different: What lies ahead for West Bend's high schools?

WEST BEND (WITI) -- They share a building, a principal and teachers. But make no mistake -- West Bend West and West Bend East are two different schools. Most people we talked with want it to stay that way.

As the football players from West Bend West and West Bend East prepare to play each other in Friday's homecoming game, students say their shared space is on many minds.

For more than 40 years, the two schools have been housed together. But earlier this year, some suggested they should dissolve the differences -- and become a single school.

"When you have classes with, with the people on your team, you know, you'd talk about it, and stuff like that. And be like, 'Oh, we could really use these guys, or that guy,'" said Daniel Mueller, West Bend West Class of '09.

While others say more pupils can play, if the separation stays.

During Friday's fanaticism, the shared school principal passes on a message from the superintendent of West Bend Schools. Ted Neitzke says statistics from a survey of some 2,400 people shows strong support for sticking with separate status.

"Although there are good arguments, on both sides of the question, at the end of the day, what`s really best for West Bend is what I believe is my recommendation, which is to sustain a two-school system, maintain our East and West tradition, and move forward," said Neitzke."

Neitzke says since this issue comes up every five years or so, he also recommends developing a protocol to guide future discussions on the matter. He suggests creating a school choice component of sorts.

Neitzke says his recommendations will be relayed to the West Bend School Board during its meeting on Monday, October 6th.

The debate was illustrated well on Friday night, as East and West go head-to-head in their homecoming football game.

How does a town keep this kind of balance?

"Everybody gets more playing time. More team, more sport, more opportunities," said one parent.

Two schools, under the same roof, competing against each other -- or are they?

"There would be a lot of kids who would not be in a sport right now," said one parent.

A convenience store owner, Pat Labuda says maybe a new tradition would do the school some good.

"I still think it's important for the kids to learn if you want something, work hard at it, earn it," said Labuda.

The School Board decides Monday if the tradition stays -- while fan show the balance they aim to keep.

The District Superintendent tells FOX6 News he's recommending to the School Board that the schools stay separate.

A district wide survey shows 75% of families want the district to keep the two high schools.