Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - It has been talked about for several years and Thursday, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the planned expansion of the Mayo Civic Center.

Besides expanding the Civic Center, the $84 million project also calls for renovation of Presentation Hall, new and renovated kitchen space and an addition to the Civic Theater.

The project has a two year construction schedule. The expansion portion is scheduled to be completed by September 2016. The renovation should be completed by August 2017. The project will add 188,000 square feet to the site, including a two story convention center with a grand ballroom.

One of those who grabbed a shovel was Lt Governor Tina Smith, who was in the city Monday to take part in the announcement concerning the proposed purchase of the Chateau Theater building. Her boss - Governor Dayton - has been a strong supporter of the project.