DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Leaders broke ground Monday on a library that will be constructed next to Fort Dorchester High School.

This will be the county’s first newly constructed library in more than a decade. Once completed, it will include five new classrooms in the high school.

“This is a brand-new state-of-the-art library,” said Dorchester County Councilman Todd Friddle. “It’s a total of 15,000 square feet.”

County leaders say 5,000 square feet will be used for the new Fort Dorchester High School Media Center during the school day.

“10,000 square feet that the community can use during the day and when school is not in it’s a full 15,000 square-foot facility,” said Friddle.

A covered walkway will attach the library to the school. The current media center inside Fort Dorchester can be transformed into at least five new classrooms.

Creating this multiuse facility also saves money. “They are able to do it for the property of $1.1 million by the school board and the whole project’s a total of $5.9 million,” said Friddle.

The library will be next to both the North Charleston Aquatics Center and Ft. Dorchester High School.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a crowd at Monday’s groundbreaking that the land across Patriot Blvd from the new library has been purchased by the city to build soccer fields and other ball fields.

This new library will be the first new library in Dorchester County since 1976.

“The big thing about it is collaboration. We’ve got the Aquatic Center, where North Charleston and the school board collaborated on, we’ve got this piece of property that us and the school board collaborated on. When we do this together, it’s cheaper for the taxpayer, more efficient, and they get a better product,” said Friddle.

The new library and media center is scheduled to be completed by July of next year.