Scenic Regional Library broke ground Saturday on the new building for its Sullivan branch at 525 Cumberland Way.

Library Director Steve Campbell said the building will be nearly 10,000 square feet, over three times as large as its present location, which is only 3,000 square feet.

The total project cost will be around $2.5 million. The site is located in the area behind Wal-Mart, a short distance from Springfield Avenue. The property was purchased in February 2016 from the First Presbyterian Church. 

The new library will have off-street parking, an outdoor event area and two patios with outdoor seating.

Inside, there will be areas for children, teens and adults, as well as a 1,200-square-foot meeting room.

The Sullivan library joined Scenic Regional in October 2009. Campbell said the library joined at a time of great expansion for the library.

To fill the new library, Campbell said about 9,000 books and items will be added to the present collection, and the added space will allow the library to offer more programs in that area.

“These new books and AV items will be available to the public when the new building opens,” Campbell said.

“Since joining Scenic Regional Library, Sullivan has many new services,” he said. “Adult and children’s outreach visits have been very popular in Sullivan.”

Campbell said library staff visit five nursing homes and assisted living centers and present programs each month. Over the past year, 321 residents of these facilities have attended the programs at these facilities in Sullivan. 

Also, the library has visited four to five daycares and preschools each month to present an on-site story time. There have been 695 children attending these outreach story times.

Another new service provided to Sullivan residents is adult and children programming at the branch. The library has offered 46 adult programs at the Sullivan branch over the past year, with 523 adults attending. There have been 99 story times and other children’s programs at the Sullivan branch over the past year, attended by 1,533 children and adults.

When Sullivan joined the library system, the library doubled the number of public computers from three to six. Over the past year, there were 5,490 hour-long computer sessions on these computers. 

“People use the computers to email, fill out job applications, take tests, search the Web, and many other activities,” Campbell said. “In addition, 1,521 people accessed the branch’s free wireless Internet over the past year.”

Over the past year, 23,544 items were checked out at the branch — a 39 percent increase in usage since joining Scenic Regional Library.

“We’ve also extended our bookmobile service and books-by-mail service for homebound people to Sullivan residents,” Campbell added.

Sullivan residents also now have access to Scenic Regional’s extensive digital resources. These include 10,000 e-books and e-audiobooks through Overdrive and Cloud Library, 9 million digital songs through Freegal, 100 e-magazine titles through Zinio, 4,500 e-audiobooks through OneClickDigital, over 15,000 e-videos through Hoopla, and other digital services. 

The systemwide usage of these digital materials was over 90,000 in the past year, an 83 percent increase from the previous year.