Totman Pool closes after nearly 50 years of university use

The decision is a result of a ‘number of factors’


Collegian File Photo

By Irina Costache, Assistant News Editor

The Totman pool permanently closed its doors following an announcement posted by the University of Massachusetts on Aug. 30.

The pool, found inside Totman Gym near Northeast Residential area on campus, had been operating for approximately 50 years and was used by both students and other members of the Amherst community. The Totman gym itself has been around for a decade longer, first opening in 1959.

According to the University’s announcement, “A number of factors, including age, condition of the pool and maintenance costs necessitated the decision to close the pool.”

In an email exchange, Jeanne Orr, the senior associate director for Facilities and Operations for Campus Recreation, said that prior to the decision to close the pool, it was “used for varsity athletics for several years by the women’s swim team and women’s water polo.”

She said that these varsity athletics teams later left Totman pool and “consolidated the women and men’s teams at Boyden.”

Orr added that “The pool was also used by the Outing Club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the academic semester.”

However, Totman pool saw the bulk of its hours in recent years coming from recreational swimming, which was open to use by all students, faculty, staff, associates and alumni. Orr reported that recreation swimming accounted for over 60 hours per week of the pool’s use during the academic semesters.

“Participation numbers for the 2018-2019 year was over 11,000. The highest usage was September of 2018 for that academic year,” she said.

The facility was also used throughout the year by the Tritons Swim Team, an independent and board-run Amherst-based swim team for swimmers aged five to 18 that compete recreationally.

To consolidate for the closing of Totman pool, Campus Recreation has made arrangements to provide opportunities for recreational swimming at the Curry Hicks and Boyden pools. Curry Hicks is located towards the center of campus near Haigis Mall, and Boyden sits near the Honors College Residential Area, just down the street from the Recreation Center.

Both pools will be open for recreation at varying times every day. The new recreation schedule, accommodating for the pool change, can be found here.

Both of these pools include programming for “varsity, sports medicine, recreation, clubs, scuba, swim lessons and rentals,” according to Campus Recreation.

At Curry Hicks, swimmers aged six to 17 will only be permitted to swim recreationally during the scheduled family swim hours.

“Campus Recreation expresses its appreciation to faculty, staff, students and guests of the pool who have supported Totman and Campus Recreation over the years,” the announcement reads.

Irina Costache can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @irinacostache.