An official ground-breaking ceremony was held this morning in Bangor as Eastern Maine Medical Center begins its Modernization Project, one of the biggest single investments in the City of Bangor.

The over 200 million dollar project will see a new seven-story building, where the main entrance to the hospital is currently located, by the fall of 2014.

Chief Philanthropy Officer for Eastern Maine Medical Center, Michael Crowley, says the modernization project will replace all of the surgical suites in EMMC currently, which were originally built over fifty years ago, all cardiology services will be put together in one convenient location, and there will be more single patient rooms added.

Additionally, the project will replace the the labor and delivery areas and improve the neo-natal intensive care unit.

Crowley says the upgrades and modernization project at EMMC will vastly improve patient care, safety, and convenience while positioning the hospital to be more competitive in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

"We know that a lot of the hospitals that have traditionally provided a full scope of services are narrowing those services due to cost and reimbursement constraints so when that happens there has to be a place where people can go to for a higher skilled care and a specialist and that's here, and will continue to be here," stated Crowley.

Jeremy Martin is one Dad who spoke to those who gathered this morning to express his gratitude to the health care providers, from the Life Flight of Maine medics to the doctors and nurses who saved his daughter's life following a skiing accident that left her fighting for her life with a severe head injury.

Abby had to relearn everything from writing to walking and remarkably, thanks to the care she was given at EMMC, she started school today, something Martin never thought would happen.

Crowley says the project is being funded in part by a bond and a private campaign to raise 20 million to complete the project.

The new building will eventually adjoin the Grant Tower at EMMC with construction continuing into 2017.

It all started back in 1892, when five determined doctors opened Bangor General Hospital offering five inpatient rooms in a house on State Street.

In 2012, EMMC admitted over 19-thousand patients, completed over 18-thousand surgical procedures and handled over 400-thousand outpatient visits.