History of UNH’s outdoor pool may decide its future
The town is asking the division to work with the university, the town and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to evaluate the historical significance of the WPA-era pool that is still in use. They would also like the division to meet with and talk to supporters to consider ways to preserve the pool and ensure that appropriate health and safety standards are met.
“The most important step is to really understand the resource you have at hand,” she said.
She has recommended that a historical inventory be done for the pool so everyone involved in decision-making can have a full understanding as to whether it is historically significant and if so, how it is significant.
“I’m not an expert on the history of pools, but from what I have heard to date, it sounds like the engineering behind this swimming pool is very interesting,” Muzzey said.
The Durham pool has been modified since its original construction in 1938.
“There are regulatory processes in place that protect historic resources in various ways. None of those processes are designed to stop projects, but the goal is to consider the full value of the resources before they’re harmed and to try and find ways to avoid that harm if possible,” Muzzey said.
A “town and gown” committee has been meeting to discuss the future of the pool, and UNH officials have said they are planning a larger public meeting in the fall.
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