In May of 2013, the Town of LeRoy, Saskatchewan, was left shaken after a fire ripped through its recreation centre.
The LeRoy Memorial Arena had long been the beating heart of the community and with its demise came the loss of the town’s only ice rink – leaving its three minor hockey teams, the figure skating club and the 2013 Long Lake Men’s Hockey League champions, the LeRoy Braves, without a home.
A group of residents immediately founded the Raise the Roof Committee (the Committee) and began a fundraising campaign for the rebuilding of a new complex, and when approached in 2014, we were proud to donate C$1 million towards the cause.
This investment, along with insurance proceeds from the old arena, allowed the Committee to solicit proposals for the design and build of a new facility. The project was awarded to RNF Ventures of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who commenced construction in 2015, which was completed in the autumn of 2016 at a total cost of C$5.6 million.
In October of 2016, after enduring three long winters without a rink (a tough feat for any Canadian town), LeRoy’s residents were able to take to the ice and enjoy their new facilities for the first time.
Speaking at the grand opening on 5 November, Ken Smith, Manager Community, Potash, said he was delighted that our contribution meant “the young residents of LeRoy would continue learning essential skills such as hard work, persistence, respect and having fun while participating in sports such as figure skating and hockey”.
Working closely with the Committee, we also donated uniforms to the newly created Initiation Program (IP) minor hockey team and offered the use of land on the Jansen Potash Project to a local organization called ‘Farming with Friends’, who raised over C$175,000 for the rebuild and have recently completed another successful harvest
LeRoy Mayor Brian Thoen thanked BHP Billiton for its financial contribution and “supplying the fire pump for the fire suppression in the rink and the Zamboni, purchasing the Jaws of Life for the fire department and helping to reinstate our ambulance service”. Lanigan and District Ambulance Association (LADAA) provides medical and emergency services to the Jansen Potash Project, which is supported by facilities in Lanigan and LeRoy.
BHP Billiton Jansen Potash Project is situated about 11 kilometres from the Town of LeRoy.