April 10, 2024

Nassau Swim Club Faces April 23 End; Resistance Continues

By Donald Gilpin

With the April 23 lease termination date set and Princeton University having rejected a number of appeals, it is not clear what possibilities might remain for the future of the Nassau Swim Club (NSC) — but a sizable band of devoted, outspoken NSC supporters is not giving up hope.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” reads the headline on the NSC website. “Princeton University said no, but we still have one week left.”

The University responded on Monday, April 8 to a Town Topics inquiry as to whether there had been any reconsideration of the decision “in the light of further community support voiced for NSC, a popular online petition against the termination, and additional appeals for a delay and reconsideration of the termination.”

“The University has had conversations with the Nassau Swim Club board members in recent weeks and appreciated the dialogue,” wrote University Director of Media Relations Jennifer Morrill. “As we have communicated to those board members, the University is moving forward with the process that was shared with the Club in October 2023.”

The University notified the NSC by email on October 23, 2023 that the University would be exercising its right to terminate the 1970 lease agreement with NSC in six months. The email cited significant financial support that the University has had to provide to NSC over the years and ongoing financial challenges.

Subsequent dialogue between the NSC board and the University has included the NSC’s request for a delay in the decision in order to give the club time to bolster its finances and “prove its solvency and long-term viability.”

The board has done significant planning, budgeting, fundraising, and recruiting of members over the past six months, but there has been no apparent change in the University’s position.

“NSC is ready to go,” reads an NSC board statement on their website. “The pool is on the path to having a successful season, if only it is allowed to open. Our intense efforts over the past couple of months show that our team has the dedication and resources to overcome NSC’s remaining challenges. Moreover, our vigorous campaign to increase and retain membership will not only make NSC financially viable for years to come, but will allow the pool to have an even greater positive impact on the wider community.”

It continues, “We hope the public can help us convince PU that we deserve another season and a chance to build on our current momentum.”

Many letters in this week’s Town Topics Mailbox, from very different perspectives, reflect the writers’ affection for the NSC and their disappointment, concern, shock, or dismay at the University’s decision to terminate the lease.

The NSC Board’s online petition, which has gathered more than 930 signatures, urges, “Tell Princeton University that Nassau Swim Club is worth saving!” It continues, “NSC is a beloved summertime tradition for many people and its loss will be felt deeply, in Princeton and beyond.”