The is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new at 10 a.m. today at 6761 Bartmer Ave. in University City.
The free event includes the dedication of the new library.
Funded through Proposition U, a $53.6 million bond issue passed in April 2009, the two-story, 60,000-square-foot building is the second new elementary school built by a joint venture of McCarthy Building Companies and Kwame Construction.
Pershing has 30 classrooms. These include specialized rooms and spaces that enable up to 500 students to do more exploratory work.
Construction on the building began in May 2011 on the site of previous building. The new school includes several features that mimic the former school's look and feel.
Constructed with green engineering practices, the enhanced day lighting and air quality will create a better learning environment for students while being respectful of the surrounding environment and resources. Elements include rain gardens, drought-tolerant landscaping, windown placements that maximize daylight, an efficient HVAC system and other features.
"The new Pershing is a magnificent school building that we hope our students, staff and community come to embrace. It will compliment our engaging educational programs nicely," said Joylynn Pruitt. "We want to thank the community for their support of Proposition U and invite them to come tour the building with us and see their tax dollars at work for students."
The schoolhouse doors will officially open Aug. 22.
Principal Herbert Buie said he can sense the excitement in the air.
"Our staff and families were so gracious during this transition," Buie said. "Everyone continued to dedicate themselves to learning and high achievement, even though we were outside of our normal environment."
The school bears the name of Gen. John J. Pershing, who was the commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Pershing helped lay the cornerstone of the school. The trowel that was used by "Black Jack" Pershing to lay the stone, as well as other artifacts, will be on display Saturday.
The school library is named after Walter Daniels, a fitting choice, Pruitt said. Daniels was a strong proponent of literacy. Daniels served two three-year terms, from 1980-1983 and 1984-1987 on the school boards.