GOSHEN — Health care officials, local community members and other leaders met Thursday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Abshire Mansion.

The Goshen landmark will be re-opened next year as a medical facility for Elkhart County residents, allowing the Maple City Health Care Center the ability to serve an additional 5,000 patients, officials said.

“I am just very excited that this day has finally arrived,” said Randy Christophel, president and chief executive officer of IU Health Goshen. “... We are thrilled to be at this point of our partnership with Maple City Health Care. It is our privilege to join them and help them grow and expand.”

The renovations include adding a 4,000-square-foot space south of the existing structure, creating a 7,000-square-foot area, said Lydell Troyer, project manager for the renovation and vice president of field operations for DJ Construction.

That area will be used for exam rooms, consult areas, group offices and will serve as the main lobby. Patients will enter through the northwest side of the existing structure, according to architect renderings.

The main building to the east that most people recognize as the “home” section of the mansion will not be affected, he said.

“We’re not touching the mansion, just one small section of it we remodeled. The whole intent was to leave the mansion alone the way it is,” Troyer said.

The rooms inside the mansion will serve as meeting and office space, he added.

The site work begins next Tuesday and Troyer said he anticipates the project will be completed in mid-March.

Melanie Verburg, public relations specialist for IU Health Goshen Hospital, said the medical facility is expected to open in April 2015.

​Follow Julie Crothers on Twitter at @jcrothers_TGN.

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