To The Daily Sun,
Recently I have received some troubling news from a dear friend in Durham about the fate of the University of New Hampshire's outdoor pool. It saddens and perplexes me to hear that UNH is seriously considering extending the Snively arena over the majority of the existing pool. During my four years as an undergraduate student at UNH I understood the administration to be quite reasonable and hospitable in their decision making process. However, in this particular instance I think they are making an incredibly short-sighted decision.
When I accepted UNH's offer of admission in 2009 it was not because it was the least expensive or the best in my field. I chose to attend UNH because I fell in love with its historic charm. This, in my opinion, is the most valuable asset UNH has to offer its perspective students. I am baffled at how easily UNH overlooks its greatest asset and how eager they are to swap one of its most precious treasures — the pool — for large gyms or hockey arenas — things that may bring in more revenue tomorrow, but in the long run, will dilute the desirability and beauty of the school — making it less attractive to year-round students in the competitive market.
I imagine UNH will offer to rebuild a new pool or preserve half of it, leaving merely a shaded puddle, but the current pool is spectacular in its natural and historic state — with smooth cement walls that descend into deep waters with fun paintings along the floor. It is Durham's refreshing and community-building gem.
Perhaps it would be wiser to extend the Snively arena toward the alumni center instead, or build it up? Many students often complain about the remote location of Snively — maybe it would be wiser to create another site at the other end of campus?
I've heard rumors that UNH believes it is unsafe, but from what I've read the pool passes its health and safety tests regularly. If UNH wanted to improve the cleanliness of the pool from its already satisfactory state I'm sure one of the brilliant engineers UNH educates or employs could devise a way to improve the mechanics of it while preserving and saving the current pool and its surrounding environment.
I cannot imagine a UNH summer without it and I hope future UNH students will be allowed to enjoy the pool the way I did. I am optimistic that UNH will be able to see how valuable the pool is and do what's best for the UNH Durham community — preserve and save the current pool!
Julia Rose Miller
UNH Class of 2013
Newton, New Jersey