New arena in Perdue, Sask. opens more than 3 years after old one burned down
The small Saskatchewan town of Perdue was devastated when its local arena burned down more than three years ago.
With the hope of building a new arena almost lost, the community rose to the challenge — and this weekend, the doors of the newly constructed Perdue Arena opened.
On Jan. 12, the arena hosted the town’s first hockey game since its original rink burned down.
“We had a kind of community meeting, and it didn’t take long for everyone to decide that we definitely wanted to rebuild the arena,” said Michael Gray, Perdue Arena Rebuild vice-chair.
“We did a study into it to see if it was feasible, and it was kind of borderline, but we knew our community had the strength to do it.”
Once the rebuild had been decided, there was a fair amount of obstacles to overcome.
Those involved in the rebuilding of the arena had to secure funding beyond insurance money through raffles, events and even a generous land donation by a local farmer.
“As I say, we got a little over $800,000. To date, we’ve got a little over $1.5 million into the rink,” said Dave Miller, mayor of Perdue.
“That’s not counting a lot of in-kind contributions that would probably make that total quite a bit higher.”
The community not only pitched in with monetary contributions but also through volunteering for the physical rebuild of the rink.
“We have a pretty good group of labourers or trade people that all know what they’re doing so they pitched in and did what they could. There’s a lot of people who are semi-retired or retired that were down here doing stuff,” Gray said.
“A few people that helped on the last rink getting built were doing this one so it’s pretty special bonding for the community.”
The arena’s first official hockey game was part of Perdue’s Annual Hockey Day.
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