JASPER - Officials in Dubois County have broken ground on the $17 million Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. When complete, the facility will serve as the home for Jasper Community Arts and the Jasper Public Library.

Kyle Rupert, director of Jasper Community Arts, tells our partners at WEHT-TV, the project is more than four years in the making.

"For so long, it's just been a piece of paper and a vision inside all of our minds and to see us get to a point where soon it's going to become a reality is an incredible feeling," said Rupert. "We are basically at capacity now with a lot of our programs and have to turn people away or limit what we do. This is going to allow us to provide so many opportunities to experience the arts in ways that we haven't been able to provide before."

Rupert says the new facility will encompass what Jasper's heritage is about, including combining industry with nature.

Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide told the station he is excited about the project.

"It's for my grandkids. It's for future generations," said Vonderheide. "It's going to be wonderful to offer a new facility with new studios, exhibits. It's going to enhance the lifestyle here in Jasper, the quality of life. The library's been growing as far as the number of participants that we offer. We've been out of space for quite a long time."

Demolition work for the project began last summer. Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2020.