The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a replat for the proposed Texoma Health Foundation Park that will add additional roadway and accessibility to the project. This comes nearly two years after the city, Gateway Village developers and THF announced the development of the park near Spur 503.


The project, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, will bring tournament-level sporting facilities to Denison in one location. The amenities planned for the park include multiple baseball and softball fields built in one complex, multiuse soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, playgrounds and a series of walking trails that will connect to other trail systems within the city.


City Manager Jud Rex said the project is currently on track for an early summer 2018 opening, if weather remains favorable.


“The weather has been good to us so far and knock on wood that it continues,” Rex said.


The plat for the site now features an 80-foot roadway dedication for Gateway Boulevard, which will be extended through the park. Rex said this design feature will help add more accessibility to the Greenway Park and Fawn Meadows subdivisions to the northwest. Additionally, the road will eventually be connected to future retail development within Gateway Village itself.


The new roadway will break the site into two lots, with the larger site serving as the main parking lot. A second, one-acre lot will be on the northern side of the new roadway, but there are currently no plans to develop it, city officials said in documents for the P&Z meeting.


Rex said the city is currently in the fifth month of a 12 month contract with Piazza Construction for the project, which has seen little delay up to this point. Rex said many sections of concrete for the project have since been poured and construction crews plan to go vertical soon with the park’s main pavilion.


It was in November 2015 that city officials announced a partnership with Gateway Village and THF for the development of a new park complex. Developers and city officials envisioned the park would offer opportunities for residents of all ages to remain active throughout their lives. At the time, developers for Gateway Village said the park’s play, combined with other developments, would be a part of a walkable community within Gateway Village aimed at personal wellness and healthy living.


Initially, the project was estimated at about $14 million, with $8 million provided by THF, and $3 million in land provided by Gateway Village. However, more recent estimates have placed the cost for the project at about $17 million, increasing the city’s expected contribution to about $6 million.


In the initial announcement, officials announced the park would sit on a total of 80 acres of land, with the initial phase occupying 65 acres of land. An additional 15 acres, which was being used for another project, would be added to the project later.


Rex said the remaining 15 acres has yet to be added to the project’s footprint, and this will likely occur after the park’s initial opening. Rex noted that the remaining 15 acres will not be developed and will be allowed to remain wild as a barrier between the park and neighboring uses.