Alumnus donates $12.25M to new University of Saskatchewan rink

Commerce and law graduate Merlis Belsher is contributing $12.25 million to the new U of S rink

Donation comes as campaign launches to raise final $7M

The timeline for construction will not be set until all funding for Merlis Belsher Place is in place. (University of Saskatchewan)

The funding for the new twin-ice facility at the University of Saskatchewan is a significant step closer to completion, thanks to a record alumnus donation.

Merlis Belsher, a commerce and law graduate of the U of S, is contributing $12.25 million to the new rink — the largest donation from an alumnus and individual in the university's history.

"I made this donation because of my gratitude for the University of Saskatchewan — it provided me with confidence and education in two professions," Belsher said in a release.  

The $41-million facility will be called Merlis Belsher Place.

A campaign began Thursday to raise the final $7 million needed for the funding. The Home Ice Campaign will look to the university, local minor hockey organizations and the community to raise the money.

Merlis Belsher Place will replace Rutherford Rink, also known as the "dog house". The 1929 building is now beyond repair.

The new facility will not only feature two ice surfaces, it will also have 12 dressing rooms, seating for 1,830 spectators, new locker room space for the Huskies soccer teams, medical and training facilities, a double gymnasium and space for a high-performance research lab.

The timeline for construction will not be set until the building's funding is in place.