To the editor:
Recently, the University of New Hampshire has revived its plans to destroy the outdoor pool. This controversial move would hurt the community. This is not a case of “town vs. gown” – a false dichotomy, as many of us who frequent the outdoor pool represent both sides.
We are Durham residents who are staff, alumni, students. Our children swim there, too. In addition, who are the lifeguards? They are Oyster River High School students, UNH students, and some of them are Oyster River grads who now attend UNH!
Durham is indeed where “U” live, and the pool is a big part of that. Closing the pool or destroying it would rend a tear in this community of children, adults and students who flock to the pool for recreation and refreshment.
The current configuration of the pool must be retained. We value the history of this area and are horrified at the thought of destroying this classic Depression-era WPA structure.
It is a masterpiece of form and function. The size and variety of depths and features provide water enjoyment for all ages. The “naturalistic” materials create the illusion of swimming in a natural pond, and the grassy and tree-lined areas are much more comfortable than most cement-paved public pools.
The outdoor pool as it stands right now is one of the most central sites in our town.
Rather than destroy it, let’s focus on finding technological solutions as needed and retain the historic structure. Leave the outdoor pool for generations to enjoy.