At its Feb. 27 meeting, city council approved increasing its commitment from $1-million to $4-million to help fund the $41-million Merlis Belsher Place complex.
“We are extremely pleased with the city’s support for this project, which will serve not only the university, but will also provide much- needed access for the community as well,” said Tim Hodgson, chair of the Home Ice Campaign committee. “This substantial commitment brings us another significant step closer to reaching our fundraising goal so we can begin construction of a facility that is long overdue for the university and for the city.”
The city’s increased commitment is a major boost to the campaign as it begins the home stretch, with approximately $1.8- million remaining to be raised to complete the fundraising drive in order to begin construction, possibly as early as this spring.
“We still have plenty of work to do to reach our goal, but we are extremely encouraged by the community support that we have received so far and are determined to make this dream become a reality,” said Hodgson. “This partnership with the community, in particular the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association, is vitally important for our university and critical to the success of this project.”
The new multi-purpose facility, backed by a record $12.25-million gift from U of S alumnus Merlis Belsher, will feature two ice surfaces that will be home to Huskie Athletics hockey teams, as well as 1,500 hours of ice time each year for community hockey programs. The facility, which will be used to host a wide variety of campus and community events, will also include two basketball practice courts for the Huskies men’s and women’s teams, courtesy of a $4-million donation from long-time supporters Ron and Jane Graham.
The Home Ice Campaign team will now focus on the final push to secure support and funding to replace the aging Rutherford Rink, which was built back in 1929.
For more information, or to donate to the new facility, visit home-ice.ca.