The starting whistle has blown for the building of a new indoor courts centre at Bruce Pulman Park.
The first sod was turned last Friday morning before a breakfast to celebrate the occasion.
The new centre has been 15 years in the making. It will sit next to the current netball centre and will hold six netball courts as well as catering for volleyball and basketball.
Seven of the 21 outdoor asphalt netball courts now at the park will disappear when the new facilities are built.
Centre manager Murray Wood says construction should finished in 2013 but "it's a big job".
"It'll cost over $10 million all up. It's effectively just a big barn but it's an engineering feat to build on these swamps."
That cost is being funded mainly through the Bruce Pulman Trust but Auckland Council and Papakura Local Board have also contributed.
For big matches the centre can be transformed into one court with grandstand seating on both sides.
Mr Wood says while the centre will be able to host big events, the trust won't let community teams be sidelined.
"We get 7000 or 8000 people through the park every Saturday and they're the most important," he says.
"We don't see ourselves as an event centre - more of a participation centre."
The centre is part of the trust's master plan to invest in Papakura and Manukau by providing the community with world-class sporting facilities.
It's about halfway through a list of projects it started in 1997 when the original netball centre opened.
The trust has a long-term lease of the 64 hectares of land from the council but puts mainly its own money into the buildings.
"We have a different management model to how the council operates. We have a very high utilisation rate because of the quality of the facilities," Mr Wood says.
Next on the trust's list is a Sport Development Centre. It will be built in partnership with AUT University and will focus on track and field sports.
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