RUPERT — A couple from Minidoka County have made their biggest donation ever to the city and the money will be used as the starting point to put a retractable cover over the city pool.
Realtor Stan Buckley and his wife, Denice, donated a multi-family home in Boise to the town of Rupert and the town sold it for just under $1 million, the administrator said Municipal Kelly Anthon.
“We were very lucky,” Stan Buckley said. “And it will be good to see that happen.”
Buckley said he swam at the Rupert Pool as a child and now his grandchildren use it.
The cover will allow the swimming pool, now closed in the event of bad weather, to remain open all year round.
“Rupert has a lot going on,” Buckley said.
The old town swimming pool, built in 1949, was closed in late 2002 because the plumbing had deteriorated and there was no access for maintenance or repairs.
People also read…
For several years, residents of Rupert had nowhere to swim, which drew criticism from city officials as they worked to rebuild the pool.
Amid cheers from children and adults, the rebuilt 6-foot-deep swimming pool, wading pool, new bathhouse, lobby, and mechanical room reopened in mid-August 2008.
The project cost about $750,000, from municipal funds, donations and grants.
At the time, the city saved about $500,000 by reusing the existing shell.
Anthon said that when planning to rebuild the pool, the structure was designed with footings to allow for the later addition of a cover over it to make it a year-round facility.
“I don’t believe there is another regulation size pool in Mini-Cassia and every high school in the area has used it,” Anthon said.
When it reopened, pool cover costs were estimated to be around $1 million, which increased in 2022 to an estimated cost of $1.3 million, Anthon said. This amount will cover alterations to footings and part of the demolition and reconfiguration of part of the building to accommodate it.
Northwest Farm Credit Services also donated $25,000 for the hedging project.
Final costs and timing for the project are still unknown, Anthon said.
“But it’s definitely the first positive step forward for the project,” he said.
Anthon said the city will make sure to complete the work during the off season so the pool can continue to be used.
The city has a design for the cover in mind, which would be built to city specifications. The project, however, will be put out to tender, Anthon said, so actual coverage could be somewhat different.
The goal of the project is to complete it without using taxpayers’ money, he said, which means they will need more community support and donations. The city will also apply for grants.
“We’ve never been closer to making this a reality,” Anthon said. “It’s not that far and very doable.”
“One thing the Wilson Theater project has taught us is that we can do anything,” he said. “Saving this theater saved this town.”
Former resident Robert Orr and his estate made several significant donations that helped restore the theater.
“And that spirit still remains with Rupert,” Anthon said.