Planning Process for Future Outdoor Pool - March 20, 2014
UNH is excited to provide an update on the planning process for a new UNH Outdoor Pool. After months of collaboration with residents and Durham town leaders, UNH is proposing a new pool with a water surface area of between 14,000 to 16,000 square feet and an estimated budget of $4.4 million. The new pool will maintain key features of the existing pool (lap lanes, zero depth entry) and include new features like significantly more social space around the pool - something we know is important for all users of the pool - and bathing/restroom facilities. The next step is for the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees to approve the project at their April 18, 2014 meeting.
Below you will find a summary of the planning process efforts to date, along with a general outline of next steps.
January - May 2013: Outdoor Pool Work Group formed to work with Hughes Group Architects and Water Technology, Inc. to develop a program for the outdoor pool as described in the campus facility master plan.
- Doug Bencks, Director of Campus Planning and University Architect
- Caitlin Christo, UNH Student
- Erika Cooper, Administrative Assistant of Campus Recreation
- Stefanie Frazee, Director of Durham Parks and Recreation
- Stacey Hall, Director of Campus Recreation
- Linda Hayden, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation
- Boyd Hegarty, Assistant Professor, Recreation Management and Policy, Durham resident, and pool participant
- Dana Peterson, Associate Architect
- Julian Smith, Durham Town Councilor
- Marjorie Wolfson, Durham resident and longtime pool participant
October 2013: Representatives from University of New Hampshire and Town of Durham met to plan an open forum for the outdoor pool. After discussion, the decision was made to form a new Outdoor Pool Work Group rather than hold a public forum. The role of the Work Group was to recommend a scope and budget for the project. Four meetings were held between October and March 2014.
- Town of Durham Representatives:
- Wayne Burton
- Dudley Dudley
- Jay Gooze
- Kenny Rotner
- Todd Selig
- Marjorie Wolfson
- University of New Hampshire Representatives:
- Doug Bencks
- Paul Chamberlin
- Stacey Hall
- Bryan Merrill
- Mark Rubinstein
- Mica Stark
- Studied shadows cast by existing Hamel Recreation Center and 5 options for Hamel Recreation Center expansion (Note: shadows represent the sun impact on July 15th)
- Reviewed 5 options for the future pool and narrowed it down to 3 options
- Cost estimates based on these three options
- Received cost estimates from six entities (4 contractors, WTI (pool consultant), engineering firm)
- Estimates varied significantly, but the middle of the range was fairly consistent.
- Summary of the estimates:
- $6.3 Million for 32,000 square foot retrofit
- $4.4 Million for 16,000 square foot pool
- $3.7 Million for 10,000 square foot pool
March 2014: UNH offers to fund the mid-size option. Please see the email from Vice President Rubinstein to the Durham Town Council
Additional Documents referenced during the Outdoor Pool Work Group meeting on March 19, 2014:
- Request for endorsement of the proposed scope from Durham Town Council - April 7, 2014
- Project proposal submitted to USNH board of trustees for approval - April 18, 2014
- Establish a Pool Design Committee composed of Campus Recreation staff, participants, and Project Management staff to work closely with the design consultants on a regular basis.
- Develop detailed design of the pool and coordinate with the design of the Recreation Center Expansion project.
- Some examples of details to refine include parking, entrance, social space, pool layout, and support facilities (showers, mechanical, storage, etc.)
- Midway through the design process, a public design review forum will be held to get input.
- Historic Review process with NH DHR
- A full detailed design will be presented to the Town of Durham Planning Board in compliance with NH RSA 674:54
- New facility opens in summer 2015
November 30, 2013:
A letter from UNH President Huddleston published in the Foster's newspaper regarding the Outdoor Pool can be found here (will open in a new window).
The outdoor pool will not open in summer 2014. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) recently concluded that the pool should be regulated as a public bathing facility. This new designation requires adherence to additional health and safety regulations. DES has not mandated this closure, but the university is no longer willing to accept the associated risk and will not reopen the pool until it meets current health and safety standards.
While we regret that the pool will not open next summer, we are committed to having a pool in place for 2015. Discussions with the Town of Durham continue about whether to upgrade the current facility to meet today’s health and safety standards, or to replace it with a new pool. Upgrading the current facility will require financial support from the town to cover the additional cost of doing so.
Either way, the future pool will have all of the beloved features of the current pool: zero depth (“minnow”) entry, lap/fitness lanes, enhanced social space, a design with a natural feel, and a bath house. It will be accessible for everyone, more sustainable, and meet all current health and safety standards.
The UNH Campus Recreation staff is in the process of adapting its 2014 summer programming to accommodate lap and family swims, Camp Wildcat, and the swim lesson program. If you want to receive that information in early winter please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience during this process. We look forward to seeing you in our summer programs and hope you will join the celebration of a new outdoor pool in 2015.
Posts from August 2013:
You can find information about parking at UNH Parking Department site.
Closed until further notice