JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) – The Jacksonville North Pulaski School District broke ground Wednesday on its newest elementary school.

This new school replaces Arnold Drive Elementary and Tolleson Elementary. It's on the corner of Harris Road and General Samuels Road and will accommodate about 650 students. It'll be 80,000 square feet.

The new school will be named Bobby G. Lester Elementary. And it came as a surprise to just about everyone, including former superintendent Bobby G. Lester.

“I didn't find out until today. They pulled it off perfectly. Total surprise, greatest honor I've ever had in my life,” Lester said.

“His character, his work ethic, he's a role model for every kid who walks in that school,” Tony Wood, JNPSD Superintendent said.

Lester was the principal at Jacksonville High School in the 1970s and later became the superintendent.

Lester Elementary is the first new school to be built in Jacksonville in 37 years, and should open by next August.