Dirt will begin flying for new neighborhood schools late this year, according to school district officials.

Our neighborhoods will receive three new schools to alleviate overcrowding at Bonham, Fannin, Lipscomb and Mt. Auburn elementaries. Funding for the construction will come from the $275 million bond program passed in December 1992.

Sites for the new schools have not been chosen, says Dave Patton, executive manager of the DISD Bond Program Department. But for one of the new schools, the District is considering the old Merchant State Bank site at Ross and Henderson.

Patton says a majority of the year will be spent at the drawing board developing plans for the construction. But by the end of the year, some ground-breaking should occur, he says.

Anti-Gang Programs

A panel discussion concerning neighborhood gangs is scheduled Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at Stonewall Jackson Elementary.

Panelists include Steve Spradline with the Dallas Police Gang Unit, DISD administration and campus security, and youth leaders in the community. The discussion is designed to offer alternative suggestions for children.

Also, the Tour to Stop the Violence will be at the Lakewood Branch Library Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. It is an educational program to show children the realities and dangers of street gangs and drug use.

The event is sponsored by the Foundation for Educational Resource, the PTAs of J.L. Long Middle School, Robert E. Lee Elementary and Stonewall Jackson Elementary, and area businesses.

News & Notes

WILL WORK FOR MONEY: The J.L. Long Expectations will perform in San Antonio this spring. Members of the singing group are raising money for their trip and will do odd jobs, such as rake leaves or clean houses. The group also is selling homemade tamales for $5 a dozen. For information, call 826-0700.

PTA BALL: St. Thomas Aquinas PTA is sponsoring a Mardi Gras Ball Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel. The event is open to anyone, and tickets cost $25. Included will be an auction with items such as a weekend in New Orleans. For information, call 823-1400.

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