March 27, 2024

Responding to University’s Decision To Terminate Nassau Swim Club Lease

To the Editor:

Last week Princeton University told the Nassau Swim Club (NSC) that its lease for the property where the pool is located would not be reconsidered, and would be terminated, in April. Nassau Swim Club is a valuable, much-loved, and important asset for the Princeton community.

Earlier this month Nassau Swim Club’s Board of Directors presented a well-considered five-year business plan to Princeton University administrators to address the NSC’s financial challenges. The board laid out its plan to re-establish its commercial viability, including facility repairs, revenue growth, and fundraising, while maintaining its very successful swim and dive teams, swim lessons, and daily aquatic programs.

Could Princeton University give Nassau Swim Club one year’s grace? Applying its business plan over the next 12 months would enable NSC to begin to recover its financial health and  demonstrate that there is a viable solution, instead of ending a pool that has been a valued community amenity for decades.

Since its creation in 1970, NSC has offered a place to cool off from the summer heat and a peaceful repose in the woods between the campuses of Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Families have enjoyed NSC’s no-frills, co-op style swim club for generations, and thousands of children and adults have learned to swim there.

Families return year after year with their children who have progressed from swim lessons to NSC’s very spirited swim and dive teams. NSC has been an active member of Princeton Area Swimming & Diving Association (PASDA), placing first or second in its division. Swimming is a valuable life skill that these kids shall keep for the rest of their lives.

It’s hard to comprehend why Princeton University would not see the value of NSC and find some middle ground to compromise. The University’s graduate student housing is located a comfortable walking distance to NSC, and the graduate students and their families would benefit. Princeton’s Community Park Pool is on the other side of town, and on hot summer days can get overcrowded.

Closing NSC would end a community asset that has been highly valued by all ages, for decades.

Lisa Serieyssol
Olden Lane