UNH outdoor pool seeks historical preservation
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 11:10
The UNH Outdoor Pool was announced as one of the winners of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save program for 2013 on Tuesday night at the Manchester Masonic Temple in Manchester, N.H.
The Seven to Save program was started by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance in 2006 to call attention to threatened historical properties within New Hampshire. To be eligible for a nomination, a property has to be over 50 years old and have historical significance, according to Maggie Stier, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance field service representative. The severity of the threat to the property and the degree to which the property can make a difference are also considered.
“[We are] excited to see the Durham pool on the list this year,” Stier said.
She said that the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has been receiving calls all summer about the UNH Outdoor Pool. She said the alliance felt the pool was a strong candidate and is eager to play a role in working with both the University of New Hampshire and advocates for saving the pool.
Stier said the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance doesn’t reveal how many properties are submitted for nomination but did state that, this year, the Seven to Save program received more nominations than ever before.
According to Stier, there is no cash award for winning a Seven to Save designation. She said that getting the designation can make the property a priority for other funding sources, as it gives the property visibility and attention. In addition, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance makes it a priority to help the organization trying to preserve the property. The Alliance can help an organization craft a master plan for saving the property, advise the organization on a media campaign and assist members in learning fund-raising skills.
Kenny Rotner, co-founder of Friends of the UNH Outdoor Pool (FUNHOP), said that FUNHOP put together the detailed nomination application for the pool. Rotner said the application consisted of a history of the facility, old photographs of the pool along with a storyline, information on the university’s desire to close the pool, and information on current usage of the pool and what it means to the community.
“[It was a] wonderful affirmation of the value of the UNH Outdoor Pool,” Rotner said on winning one of the Seven to Save designations. According to Rotner, FUNHOP was notified a few days in advance that they had won one of the designations.
“The selection process managed by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance as part of the Seven to Save program is very competitive, so it is an honor indeed for the UNH Outdoor Pool to have been listed,” Todd Selig, Durham town administrator, said.
“The university recognizes the historic significance of its outdoor pool and is committed to working with the N.H. Division of Historical Resources to document its history,” Erika Mantz, director of UNH Media Relations, said. “We value the work of the N.H. Preservation Alliance, appreciate the nomination by the citizens who care so much about the outdoor pool, and hope to retain appropriate aspects of it, even as we work to ensure safety and compliance with the regulations that the state Department of Environmental Services requires for all public bathing facilities.”
The next step for FUNHOP is to try to get the New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources to recognize the UNH Outdoor Pool and to try to show UNH that the pool can be an asset to the town, students and faculty during the winter, too, by getting the pool turned back into an ice skating rink for the coming months, Rotner said.