THE SLAB for a state-of-the art strength and conditioning gym is set to be poured this week as the latest redevelopment works start to capture attention at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre.
It is a positive step forward for BSEC, which would have been the centrepiece for Basketball Ballarat's annual Queen's Birthday long weekend tournament. COVID restrictions forced the cancellation of the major event - that draws more than 2000 junior players to town - for the second consecutive year.
BSEC's stage two redevelopment works started in late April with visual effects finally on show for the general public as the face lift begins on the original stadium structure.
A new skin on the former Wendouree Sports and Events Centre, built in 1986, will tie-in with the $24 million BSEC to become one complete venue.
The freshen-up will continue inside the older stadium, complete with new insulation lining.
Toilets and change-room facilities inside the original build are also undergoing renovations and Basketball Ballarat chief Neville Ivey said this work is 90 per cent complete.
Mr Ivey also said work on a dedicated referees' break room was about half-finished. This will be a dedicated, tucked away space for referees to relaxed between games at the southern end of the new building.
Outside, aside from the cladding, Mr Ivey said most of the works had been in foundations and in-ground services.
A slab for the shared learning centre, located between the old and new stadium structures, is in place and steel framework is underway.
Once complete, the $5.2 million redevelopment project will also feature three permanent purpose-built three-on-three basketball courts. The game's increasingly popular street-ball format will feature at next month's Tokyo Olympics.
This project includes a portable three-on-three court to allow for exhibition matches about the region.
BSEC's stage one development was complete in July 2019 featuring six new courts, including a 3000-seat showcourt, largely to help ease the pressure on court demand in the city and create an elite playing venue to modern standards.
Stage two develops the space further into a community facility with multi-purpose lecture rooms and gym in learning partnerships with University of the Third Age and Federation University.
Funding for the stage was pledged by the Labor state government with a further $6.6 million for amenities upgrades at Mars Stadium.
A new toilet block outside Mars Stadium is already taking shape along Creswick Road.
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