Bench presses

Coaches hope to replace the bench press seats in the Melba Junior Senior High School weight room.

Upgrades are underway for Melba High School’s weight room thanks to $12,000 from community donations.

Melba Junior Senior High School held a fundraiser Nov. 18 with the “realistic” goal of raising $5,000 to replace and purchase equipment.

The reality was that about $18,000 was needed to improve the weight room to 2A school athletic standards.

To raise money, Melba coaches put together themed baskets for people to bid on at an auction. A barbecue dinner complemented the event.

After costs, $12,000 was raised.

“The community was huge,” said PE department head Cory Dickard. “Community members bid well more on baskets than they should have.”

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The school has purchased new benches (including one that inclines), clamps, rubber pads, bars and a cable machine. Current benches have been reupholstered.

“It’s a huge upgrade,” Dickard said.

The school still has $6,000 to spend. It’s eyeing new machines, such as a hammer machine and leg extension. Weights teacher Juan Colunga is shopping around for the best prices, Dickard said. The plan is to have everything ordered by the end of January.

Dickard also said he gives a lot of credit to Colunga’s video showing the state of the weight room equipment. For Dickard, who’s been with the district 12 years, this is the first upgrade the weight room has gotten in his time at Melba.

Dickard said he wants to thank his wife, the Melba coaches, Owyhee BBQ, which catered the event for free, and, of course, the whole Melba community for its support.

“In this community, it never fails,” Dickard said. “It always pulls together on everything.”

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or

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