Construction began on Raymond Community Park shortly after the new year, and with it, Prosper residents will see a new wave of community park amenities.

The big picture

The early phases of construction were delayed slightly due to rain but officially began the second week of January, Parks and Recreation Director Dan Baker said in an email.

“You’ll see heavy equipment out there [from early January] for the next ... five months, six months,” said Kurt Beilharz, project manager and assistant director for Prosper’s parks department.

The design phase began shortly after the park’s approval and took about 18 months, Beilharz said. Construction was then split between two bid packages to allow crews to break ground as soon as possible, Baker said.

The $19 million park is expected to be the town’s third largest at just over 67 acres once built, Beilharz said.

It is also expected to bring highly requested athletic spaces to the community, Beilharz said.

“We’ll have pickleball courts, which is very, very important because our residents have told us they want [those],” he said. “We’re trying to get them as quickly as we can.”

Sorting out details

Raymond Community Park, named for former Parks Director Dudley Raymond, will be on Prosper’s east side.

Prosper’s population has more than doubled in the last decade, town Communications Manager Todd Rice said. In that time, the west side of Prosper saw a majority of the new development as the town grew, he said.

“Raymond Community Park is really going to offer something to those east of Preston [Road],” Rice said.

In addition to the pickleball courts, the park will bring Prosper four new lighted baseball fields, according to planning documents. It will also feature a demonstration garden, which will be for botanical education.

The project’s namesake was Prosper’s parks and recreation director before Baker. In October 2021, Raymond died of complications related to COVID-19 and would be honored by town officials’ decision to name a park for him, his wife, Bridget Raymond, said.

“I really, really am looking forward to enjoying it and taking my grandchildren there,” she said.

What they are saying

“I know Dudley was very, very passionate about parks and ... it’s just really a big honor to have such a nice park named after him," Bridget Raymond said.

“We’ve got such a demand and need for more ball fields of all kinds. I know that [residents will] be excited because there’ll be more field space," Baker said.

What else

The park’s incoming athletic spaces will benefit the community as the town grows, said James McKeehan, president of the Prosper Baseball and Softball Association.

The association is one of many local groups using Prosper parks and schools for their teams to play and practice, he said.

“I'm excited to bring new fields on, but we need a lot of new fields, especially with the projections and growth that are happening in Prosper,” McKeehan said. “ I’m assuming other leagues ... are stressed the same way.”

Lakewood Park is also expected to open in 2025, Baker said in an email. Projects like that are part of a greater plan to develop Prosper’s parks. The land at Doe Branch Creek offers hike and bike trails, but will be further developed, Baker said.

Looking ahead

Raymond Community Park construction is slated to take 15 months, Beilharz said.

It is expected to be done by the time the parks and recreation open space master plan is updated—a process that will take more than a year—for the first time since 2015.

Other amenities for Raymond Community Park could be added in future phases after the park opens in summer 2025. These amenities could include tennis courts, which were cut due to cost, Baker said.

Construction on park amenities is expected to start “going vertical” in late summer 2024, Baker said in an email. More information on what will be included should be announced in March once the park’s second bid package opens, Baker said.

“[Raymond Community Park] should be a gem in our park system,” he said.