Ground-breaking ceremonies today for a 13,400-square-foot full-service Salt Lake County Library in Riverton will mark a milestone for the city and the county, the county library director says.

Eileen B. Longsworth will welcome those attending the groundbreaking at noon on the southwest corner of the Riverton Community Center at 12860 S. Redwood Road.Jan Wells, Riverton, a former County Library Board board member and chairman who will speak at the groundbreaking, was very supportive in helping to get a new library for the community, Longsworth said.

"She helped make connections with the city and worked with us on the site. We ended up buying land (1.55 acres) from the city. The land cost $54,000," Longsworth said.

The present library, a 6,500-square-foot facility, has been located at 1830 W. 12600 South for 11 years. When it was built, library staff members were checking out 3,000 books a month. That has grown to 28,000 items. The new library will serve Riverton and Bluffdale area residents.

"The library continues to do record business despite being surrounded by construction of a new Albertsons store in the Riverton Plaza," the director said.

Designed to be reminiscent of turn-of-the-century buildings, the new facility will also incorporate the look of period Carnegie buildings, including red brick, arched windows, columns and steps. It will be accessible to the handicapped.

"It will have a much more traditional look than a regular library. It will be a merger of traditional library and high-technology services," Longsworth said.

Expected to open in March 1999, the new facility will be connected via computer to more than 1.7 million items in 17 county libraries. It will also be a showplace for public access to the Internet, and many new informational multimedia resources. A library meeting room will accommodate 40 people.

MHTN Architects, Salt Lake City, designed the building, which will be built by Paulsen Construction, South Salt Lake, for $1.3 million. The firm has already done grading at the site. Mark R. Nelson of Beneco Enterprises Inc., the county's management firm, is the project manager.

Others besides Longsworth and Wells scheduled to participate at the groundbreaking include library board chairman Lohra Miller, County Commissioners Mary Callaghan and Brent Overson and Riverton Mayor Sandra Lloyd.