April 3, 2024

Nassau Swim Club is a Valuable Town Asset That Should Be Saved

To the Editor:
I am saddened to write that Princeton will be losing a resource that contributed greatly to the character and vibrancy of the town with the closure of the Nassau Swim Club (NSC).

NSC is humble in comparison to Community Park Pool, but it checked all my boxes by offering a peaceful setting in the woods, a rare place to swim in the shade and sun, and a friendly community. It offered young and inexperienced swimmers the opportunity to join a welcoming and spirited swim/dive team. And its full day aquatics program gave kids the freedom to play with new friends and with minimal adult interference. A safe local gathering spot where kids can be kids and play freely outside all day is rare these days. NSC was a true hidden gem. I deeply regret that my family and I were only able to enjoy the pool as members for just one year.

Upon receiving the news that Princeton University was terminating the lease of my new favorite place for financial reasons, I joined the fight to save NSC. NSC’s financial challenges are real, but surmountable. In just a couple months, the grassroots effort to save NSC, as documented on NSC’s website, has raised over $22K in pledges —more than enough to cover the needed pool repairs this season — and over $60K in pledges for membership and programs, more than double the amount raised at the same time the previous year. To date over 900 people have signed NSC’s online petition. Sadly, these efforts weren’t enough to change the decision of the University.

Nassau Swim Club, and other nonprofits in town, are so much more than businesses. They are what makes our town vibrant and attractive to young families, which is a shared priority of the town and University. Moreover, at the very least NSC offers our town a valuable facility — a six-lane, 25-yard (competition-sized) swimming pool with connected diving well, which the University simply plans to “remove.” It is truly disappointing that this part of our town will be lost without knowing that all options have been explored to save this valuable community asset.

Monica Skoge
Olden Lane