The first sod was symbolically turned at Armidale City Gymnastics on Wednesday morning signalling the beginning of the construction of the most modern competition facilities this side of Sydney, according to the Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.
"The total cost of this project was about $1.4 million, but the State contribution was one dollar short of $1 million," Mr Marshall said with a grin.
"Don't ask me why, that's just what was requested.
"This is a brilliant project because it is not only going to double the size of the gymnastics centre, but improve it to an international standard."
Mr Marshall said the facility served its community well.
"There are nearly 500 youngsters in the region who participate in some form of activity in the gymnastics centre already," he said.
"It's a great facility for those gymnasts who want to go to a higher level, or are doing it for fitness and fun and everyone else in between.
"What we will see when all of this is finished, is an international facility that will enable Armidale to host a number of State and National championships."
He said it would also see an number of the best gymnasts coming to Armidale to train.
"Because we'll have the best facility in Northern NSW. At the moment Newcastle probably has the best facilities, but when this is finished, Armidale will probably even surpass what Newcastle has," Mr Marshall predicted.
"So, pretty much anywhere north of the Harbour Bridge, we'll have the best facilities of everyone."
"The aim of this is not to just provide a great facility for locals, but to make it a truly regional facility where we can host competitions. It may even give us the opportunity to train the next Commonwealth or Olympic medalists, right here in Armidale."
Coach Wally O'Hara said the extensions would allow the centre to start some new sports, such as Ninja Warrior.
"We'll have a full 25 metres of tumble tracks, and we can leave our trampolines set up forever," he said.