A $50 million upgrade of the La Trobe University Bendigo campus is underway.
Gated-off sections of the sports field mark the start of the first project in the two year program.
Improved lighting, change rooms and end-of-journey bike change facilities are due to be finished by October.
A new arrivals plaza, extended library and student union building, and a new engineering building are also included in the Bendigo Campus Transformation Program.
The new arrivals plaza is intended to connect to a new bus route and interchange.
It will also link up with the extended library and student union building.
Engineering Building E, which was built in the ’60s, will be demolished to make way for the arrivals plaza and extended spaces, but will be replaced by a new building.
Car parking is also expected to be affected, with details to be made available closer to the time.
The La Trobe University website lists late September as the likely demolition date for the engineering building.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor John Dewar expected the new technical school, announced by the state government in April, would be part of the new building.
“So there will be not only undergraduates, post graduate and PhD students, but there will be school kids coming in and getting excited about technology,” he said.
La Trobe University expects the Bendigo Campus Transformation Program to be finished by early 2018.
The sports field is used for recreational purposes at the moment, but Bendigo Head of Campus Rob Stephenson said the university would consider how it could better connect with the community once the works are complete.
“By physically connecting the campus more to the city’s CBD and upgrading our facilities to embrace this exciting new era of innovative thinking and focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, this project will not only transform Flora Hill, but Bendigo as a whole,” he said.
“This project will also contribute significantly to economic development in the region, both throughout the building works and ongoing.”
The Bendigo Campus Transformation Program is part of the university’s five-year Future Ready strategic plan.
The university in 2014 confirmed a restructure which resulted in ‘drastic’ job cuts.
“The restructure was all about freeing up the capital and the resources so we could do things like this,” Mr Stephenson said.
“It was really important, from our perspective, to reinvest in Bendigo and in the facilities, staff and programs here.”