Outdoor Pool Project
Update August 19, 2016
Update July 8, 2016
Construction of the UNH Outdoor Pool is progressing on schedule! Next week, the pool will be filled with water which is an exciting milestone. The construction team will continue to work on a few remaining elements to prepare for the opening of the pool in mid to late August. UNH is planning an open house and celebration once the pool is open. Details of that event will be available soon.
Update June 24, 2016
As summer begins, the construction continues on the Outdoor Pool. While you can see the deck and bathhouse taking shape, there are a few more milestones to reach before an official opening date can be determined. The opening is anticipated for some time in August.
View the construction photos here.
Update March 3, 2016
Photo gallery of new pool construction.
Concerned about shadows on the new pool? Check out the study results here (originally presented on July 1, 2014).
Update Oct 20, 2015
An update on the construction of the outdoor pool and some excitiing news: there will be lights and heat! The new pool will have internal lights and be lit from above, and it will be heated. This will allow us to extend the season on both ends, and the lighting will allow us to extend the closing time of the pool in the evening.
If you have driven by Edgewood Road recently, you've seen a lot of construction happening for the expansion of the Hamel Recreation Center and for the new outdoor pool. Construction will continue this year until winter conditions prohibit further work. At this point, we estimate that the pool will open mid to late August 2016. We had hoped to open at the beginning of summer, however, replacement of the culvert for Pettee Brook took longer than expected. The actual opening date will be driven by the length, severity, and duration of the upcoming winter and when construction can resume next spring.
From the outset, we've been focused on buidling a pool that is safe (meeting all current pool codes and regulations), increases use of the pool through improved programming, and meets the needs of UNH and the community. All of the beloved aspects of the old pool are being incorporated into the new pool; zero depth entry, swim lanes, plenty of space for free swimming, and a display celebrating the history of the pool. We are particularly excited about the community/green space surrounding the pool as well as the new restrooms and bathhouse. The pool will also be much better for the environment. The old pool lost on average 30,000 gallons a day. As soon as we have additional information early next spring, we will update the opening date.
Update Feb 25, 2015
Presentation to Durham Planning Board regarding the Outdoor Pool Project.
Doug Bencks, UNH Director of Campus Planning and University Architect, and Stacey Hall, Ph.D., Director of Campus Recreation are excited to provide the Durham Planning Board with information about the current plans for the new UNH Outdoor Pool. Several files were provided in advance of the meeting, including Letter of Intent and Site Plans. To review the files, please check out:https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/boc_planning/university-new-hampshire-outdoor-pool.
Update Dec 19, 2014
Updated Design Development Images
Click on the image below for the link to the new images.
Update Oct 28, 2014
University of New Hampshire Outdoor Pool site preparation work to begin
The site contractor intends to begin work on November 3rd to do the site preparation that will include:
1. Pre-load a portion of the site for the new outdoor pool that has the softest soil conditions
2. Salvage stones from a portion of the existing pool bottom for reuse in the new pool design
3. Remove most of the existing pool walls in preparation for the construction that will begin next spring. This site preparation work is a necessary first step in replacing the existing pool in time for reopening June 2016.
Update Oct 1, 2014
Since the public forum on July 1st, the Outdoor Pool Design Committee has met three times. Two of the meetings focused on reviewing the comments shared during the public forum, along with comments received from those who were unable to participate in the public forum. Comments collected at the forum have been captured in the notes (Click Here). Committee members have reviewed and discussed each comment gathered to date. Feedback has been incorporated into the design process. The Outdoor Pool Design Committee has also provided feedback on the updated design of the new pool (Click Here).
In addition to making progress on the design of the pool. UNH is continuing to work with the NH Division of Historical Resources through their process. Lastly, UNH is working with design engineers and the construction manager on specifics of pre-construction site preparation to see if it is most practical to do this work this fall or wait until spring. If we proceed this fall, the work is expected to occur before the end of October. Stay tuned for more updates on the project.
Update August 13, 2014
The university recently received a geotechnical report on the soil conditions in the area of the future outdoor pool that found a large portion of the site has very poor soil for construction. As a result of the findings, additional work to the site must occur before construction can begin. This will add an additional two to three months to the construction timeline. As a result of this extra work the new outdoor pool will not be operational until the 2016 season. We remain committed to the mid-size pool option, the important design elements like zero entry and swim lanes, and the agreed upon location.
Update July 7, 2014
The public forum on the early design process of the outdoor pool was held on July 1st. The forum included a presentation of the following:
- Timeline of the project
- Goals of the new pool
- Information about the existing pool (including indepth shadow studies)
- Design evolution of the new pool
- Current design information
- Next steps of the design process
To assist the Outdoor Pool Design Committee with upcoming decisions about the design, the following topics were discussed in small groups:
- Details of the divider between the zero depth and instructional areas (height, surface material)
- Water bench at the edge of the pool (water depth, width of bench, location of the pool to have benches)
- Diving Board area - should additional elements be added?
- Ideas to Commemorate the Existing Pool
- Historic Documentation (Type of Display - such as at Dairy Bar and Wiswall Dam)
- Elements of the pool to be retained
- Location of Display
- Other Comments or Ideas
You can also watch a video of the forum, thanks to DCAT 22 Studios Production.
The Outdoor Pool Design Committee will review all of the feedback gathered at the public forum at their next meeting on July 15th. The Committee wishes to thank the 30 participants in the forum and several people who have contacted them in person or via email for their feedback.
Update June 19, 2014
The Outdoor Pool Design Committee invites all interested members of the community to a public forum to learn about the progress of the design for the Outdoor Pool at the University of New Hampshire and to provide thoughts and ideas about the design elements of the pool at this intermediate stage of the design process. The meeting is scheduled for July 1, 2014, from 7-9pm in the Piscataqua Room in Holloway Commons, 75 Main Street. Parking is available along Main Street or in the University visitor parking lot C across from the Mill Road shopping plaza (open to the public at no charge after 6pm).
The size and location for the pool were established in March of this year, and the Design Committee has been working with the pool design consultants to begin developing the design, including the orientation and general configuration of the pool. At this stage in the process, it is appropriate to review the progress of this design and get broader input before the design proceeds further.
You can preview some of the documents that will be reviewed at the forum here. The PDF includes an overview of the site, with the new pool and old pool outlined on the first page. This is followed by three perspectives of the updated design of the pool. The forum will include a description of the process and factors that have influenced the revised design, including shadows, existing terrain, changing standards for pools, and balancing needs of different types of uses. Then a discussion of specific aspects of the design and preferred ways to represent the history of the pool will take place. Feedback will inform the final design recommendation by the Committee.
If you are unable to attend the forum and would like to provide feedback, you are welcome to contact a member of the Outdoor Pool Design Committee and/or submit your feedback to the Committee via email (email@example.com) by July 7th.
Update May 29, 2014
Residents will soon see activity at the site of the current outdoor pool. As part of the design process, a drilling rig will be onsite June 3-5 to retrieve soil samples. This is not the start of construction, but an important part of the site research necessary to make sure the new pool doesn't crack and leak. Drilling is weather dependent and will only be conducted during business hours.
The Outdoor Pool Design Committee had its first meeting and has two additional meetings scheduled in June. As promised, a public forum will be held before the design process is complete to allow for public input. A date will be announced on the outdoor pool website: http://campusrec.unh.edu/outdoor-pool .
Update May 2014
This month the Outdoor Pool Design Committee has been created and will hold its first meeting. The members include:
- Erika Cooper, Campus Recreation, Aquatic Coordinator
- Stacey Hall, Ph.D., Campus Recreation, Director
- Linda Hayden, Campus Recreation, Assistant Director
- Boyd Hegarty, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Durham resident
- Catherine Meeking, Town of Durham Historic Commission, Member
- Deanna Silva, Graduate Student Senate, Representative
- Joe Sweeney, Student Senate, President
- Doreen Wachenschwanz, Town of Durham Parks & Recreation Committee, Chair
- Marjorie Wolfson, Durham resident and pool user
The Committee will work with the following Project Management staff:
- Doug Bencks, Campus Planning
- Don Hagstrom, Facilities Project Management
- Dana Peterson, Campus Planning
- Brenda Whitmore, Facilities Project Management
Also, as part of the design process, a local firm will conduct tests to investigate the type of soil at the site. This includes drilling in specific areas to retreive soil samples. The test results will inform the engineers and architects as they design the new pool. This testing will occur before the end of May.
For those interested in participating in aquatic activities this summer, please see a letter to our members.
April 18, 2014:
The University System of New Hampshire board of trustees approved the Outdoor Pool project. Click here for details: https://www.unh.edu/main/capital-projects
March 17, 2014:
The Durham Town Council endorsed the University of New Hampshire's proposal for the new Outdoor Pool. The resolution is available for you to review.
March 2014 - Planning Process Update:
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.