UNH/SUSC Soccer Project HaltedBy Phyllis Bennett
June 12, 2001
DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire and Seacoast United Soccer Club announced today that the proposed project to build soccer facilities on university land on Route 155 in Durham will not proceed.
While the parties had reached agreement on most aspects of the effort to create much needed athletic facilities for university students and area youth, they have not been able to develop a mutually acceptable solution on the few remaining issues.
"We received substantial input from Durham area residents and were confident we could successfully address most of those concerns. We very much regret we were unable to move the project into its final phases," said Joan Leitzel, university president. "We as well regret the inability to see this project through to fruition," said Michael Simchik, President of Seacoast United Soccer Club, "but it was certainly not due to lack of effort from either UNH or SUSC. Partnerships such as this have many issues to resolve; unfortunately, some could not be addressed so as to meet the needs of both parties."
Existing outdoor athletic fields at the university were created for a student population of 4,500. They are inadequate for the current student body of over 12,000, eighty percent of whom participate in intercollegiate and recreational sports.
In the face of this decision, President Leitzel has pledged to continue to explore ways to meet the university's obligation to its students. The university will continue its tradition of building partnerships with other organizations to improve its academic programs, as well as its athletic facilities, in ways that keep costs to New Hampshire taxpayers, UNH students and their families as low as possible.