Nestled in pine forests of North Idaho, Wallace is a small town with a big personality. Emblazoned on a manhole cover in the center of the town are the words, “The Center of the Universe.” For decades, the Wallace community pool has served as an anchor in that universe.
Many Wallace residents first learned to swim in the pool, later bringing their kids for swimming lessons or summer programs. A community staple since 1939, mechanical issues caused the pool to close for the first time in 2018. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor and a matching gift challenge hosted by Innovia, the community came together to set a $1,000,000 fundraising goal to bring the pool back to life. This was just the beginning.
As an open-air facility, decades of weather exposure took a larger toll on the pool than the Wallace community realized. Despite the funding raised for initial repairs, leaky pipes and a faulty pump forced the 80-year-old pool to close again. Through private donations, contributions from the city and persistent fundraising, the community stepped up to revitalize the pool. Selling Christmas ornaments, hosting fundraisers on social media and auctioning items at local events, the town reached its $1,000,000 goal.
“Swimming at the pool is the primary activity for many of our youth during the summer months,” says Dean Cooper, Wallace City Council President.
"The impact of this project on our town is immeasurable."
Now fully funded, Wallace residents look forward to cooling off in the refurbished pool when it reopens next summer. Hoping to sustain the pool’s presence in the community, the town established the Wallace Pool Fund at Innovia this year. The fund will cover ongoing and future maintenance costs, and ensures the people of Wallace will be splashing, swimming and building community for years to come.