Hebert Construction has hired North Yarmouth Academy students, two of whom are shown here, for the summer to help with the upgrades to the Travis Roy Ice Arena. Contributed / North Yarmouth Academy

Construction has begun on the Travis Roy Ice Arena renovations at North Yarmouth Academy and students are in the thick of it.

Hebert Construction, owned by NYA parent Tim Hebert, is leading the project and has created a work program for participating students who earn an hourly wage. Hebert is also donating $25 back to the project for each hour of student labor.

“Donating to the school for hours worked is my way of giving back in honor of the hard work everyone put in who supported the project,” Hebert stated in a press release. “I want the students to know they had an impact on the success of the project. I also want to bring light to the fact that skilled tradespeople are important. We need to celebrate and reward hard-working people in foundational jobs.”

Hebert said that while staffing in the construction industry has stayed steady, or even increased, over the years, the pace of construction and development is outpacing the labor market and there are not enough workers to meet demand.

“The work (the students) are doing is really supportive of the trades, sweeping, cleaning, picking up, taking out trash,” Hebert said. “It’s really helpful because it allows the skilled tradesmen to be able to spend more time of their day doing what they need to do. The biggest thing for me is having these students, who are going off to college, see the value of a day’s work like this.”

Five NYA seniors worked on the site in May for their senior service projects. Seven students have been hired for the summer, with the option of part-time or full-time, and can also choose their own hours. They can also work on other Hebert Construction projects.


Recent graduate Chas Rohde was one of the seniors who worked on the arena for his service project, but he decided to stay on this summer before he leaves for Colby College this fall.

“It felt like a great opportunity to give back to the school and the community. I’ve always been interested in what goes on in the world of construction and it’s been amazing so far,” Rohde said. “I’ve definitely gained an appreciation for this type of work. It’s not easy, and there’s people much older than me doing it. I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a humbling experience.”

He’s not yet sure what he’ll be studying at Colby, he said, and he wants to learn as many different skills as he can to help him decide on a career. While he doesn’t think that career will be in construction, the skills he gained on the job site will serve him well if he ever needs to work on his own homes, he said.

The work the students have been doing includes sweeping and cleaning, as well as more difficult jobs like tearing down siding, removing benches using power tools and installing seating, for example. Only students 18 and older are permitted to use power tools, Hebert said.

Renovation work on the arena began in April. Improvements include an updated lobby and entrance, new 2,500-square-foot locker and training rooms, better and more seating, and a fitness and wellness center. Construction is slated to be complete during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The ice rink originally opened in 1975, and was dedicated and renamed in 1998 in honor of NYA alum and former hockey player Travis Roy, who was paralyzed during his first college hockey game at Boston University. He died in October 2020 from complications caused by his paralysis.

Comments are not available on this story.