ST. JOSEPH - A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new St. Joseph Government Center on Thursday morning.

The more than18,000 square foot building will be just to the west of Colts Academy. The new Government Center will be a stand alone building with the potential to one day connect to Colts, which will eventually be converted into a community center.

Mayor Rick Schultz says the building will give them more space for their police department and administration.

"It's going to be more efficient and it's going to help us expand as a place for all of the community. We'll be able to house the entire police department here, versus two buildings in the past. We're going to have a community room in the facility which anybody can use."

City administrator Judy Weyrens previously said the cost for the project is about $4.8 million. The city will be using Capital Improvement Bonds to finance the project, which could cost the owner of a $150,000 home about $100 a year in property taxes for the next 20 years. However, all the financing has not been finalized.

The new Government Center is expected to be open early next year.

"It's really going to go fast, we expect to occupy the building February 2017. So there's going to be a lot of activity," Schultz says.

The city is close to finalizing a sale of their current City Hall building. St. Joseph has used the building (a former bank) since 2000.