The morning after a straw vote enabling the communities to vote on whether to merge the two districts, superintendents Steve Parker Zielinski and Marty Rotz met for three hours to discuss plans to move forward with the merger.
Eighty-four percent of those voting in the South Seneca School District said yes; however, it was much closer in Romulus, passing by just 26 votes.
"We're really happy that folks came out yesterday and showed their support and gave us their intent and their opinions on it. For Romulus, it was a little bit larger of voters than we usually get and as far as that process is concerned, that's a good indication of where the community is sitting right now," said Rotz, the interim superintendent in Romulus.
South Seneca currently has about 750 students, and approximately 400 attend school in Romulus. It's believed the merger will present more opportunities for students in both districts.
"The thought of working with 1,100 students as opposed to a smaller population means better chance for extracurricular, better chance for elective courses especially at the high school level. So the prospects for the educational program are pretty exciting," Zielinski, superintendent at South Seneca, said.
The next step is another vote in both communities to approve the merger plan. That's set for Oct. 29 and will be conducted by the State Department of Education. If it's again approved in both communities, voters will go to the polls one more time before the end of the year.
"There would be a board election in December to form a new Board of Education. That board would start to function and a new combined district would officially start July 1, 2014."
In a combined district, South Seneca Elementary School in Interlaken will remain as is. Students in grades nine through 12 would attend South Seneca High School. Romulus, which currently houses all students kindergarten through 12 in one building, will be a combined elementary and middle school.
What hasn't been decided yet is a name for the new district.
"We're going to be interested in getting a lot of the constituents involved in that because of all the emotional things around a merger, that's among the most emotional. Not just the name of the new district, but colors and mascot and these things, so that will be part of the process of building this new district," said Zielinski.
Both districts have recently gone through budgets but it's too early to tell what affect a merger will have on teachers and other staff.