LONG-awaited development works and three-on-three court constructions at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre could begin by Easter.
A tender recommendation for Ballarat company H Troon will be put to City of Ballarat councillors for approval on Wednesday night.
The $5.2 million stage two project, pledged by Labor in the 2018 state election, will transform the $24 million new BSEC stadium into a full community hub.
The tender has come in about $1.2 million under budget, allowing contingency room.
Aesthetically, the complex will also become complete with new cladding on the original structure, which was built in 1986. This will also aid managing tenant Basketball Ballarat in bidding for major events.
Space between the old and new stadium structures will be developed into multi-purpose community learning spaces and meeting rooms. A partnership is already in place with University of the Third Age for classes.
Outside, in the old car park close to the original stadium, will be fit with three outdoor, purpose-built street ball courts. This comes as the three-on-three basketball format gathers momentum and will be contested in the Tokyo Olympics later this year and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
One showcourt will have bleachers for special events and tournament options.
The City of Ballarat officer's report has made clear three-on-three basketball "is a growing area in sport and the development at the existing BSEC will enable competition and elite training at Ballarat's premier basketball facility". The report also identified greater opportunity for health promotion.
Funding allows for a fourth three-on-three court to be delivered in a portable format for exhibition games, such as in festivals about Ballarat and the wider Grampians region.
Stage two construction will also include a strength and conditioning gym, complete with a 30-metre indoor running track, for Ballarat's elite athletes and community members.
BSEC stage one development, undertaken by Ballarat's Nicholson Construction, was complete in July 2019.
Basketball Ballarat's marquee basketball teams Ballarat Miners and Ballarat Rush are yet to officially move into the space after the cancelled NBL1 season last year. Miners and Rush finished their 2019 campaigned at the Minerdome.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews promised the $5.2 million state two works in a precinct package with $6.6 million amenities upgrades to Mars Stadium.
Initial funding for BSEC stage two was made available in last year's state budget.
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