A consultant will study and prepare concept plans to potentially redesign and improve Community Park South in Princeton.
The Princeton Council awarded a $61,475 contract to Suburban Consulting Engineers, which is based in Flanders, Morris County, to study the 26-acre municipal park and to prepare concept plans at a meeting in December.
Community Park South is bordered by Route 206 and the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. The parking lot is accessible from John Street and from Race Street.
The park consists of several baseball fields, a large multi-purpose athletic field, tennis courts, a walking trail around its perimeter, and a picnic pavilion. Two basketball courts and a playground are located next to the Community Park School.
In its proposal, Suburban Consulting Engineers said it would reach out to the community to gather comments through an “open house” or other public forum. Also, there would be an online survey. The questions would be developed in conjunction with Princeton Recreation Department staff.
A community meeting to help raise residents’ awareness of the project and to provide an overview of the planning process and project schedule may be held, the consultant wrote. Participants can give feedback about the future of the parks and recreation system.
Community Park South is a significant asset within the Princeton Recreation Department’s inventory of parks, but it does not meet all of the department’s goals, the consultant wrote. The park also falls short of the needs of community and Princeton-based organizations, it said.
“The Princeton Recreation Department’s priority is to increase usability of the park and fields, and to improve aesthetics. (The town) seeks to retain many of the existing park components, while implementing new recreational elements,” the consultant wrote.
The additional elements may include irrigation systems for the fields, restroom facilities, increased pavilion space with lighting, and a new landscape plan to improve aesthetics, the consultant wrote.
There may be an indoor sports facility that has a full-size basketball court, indoor tennis courts, an activity or meeting room, and restroom facilities, the consultant said. An outdoor exercise area with equipment also is a possibility.
Suburban Consulting Engineers will present a master plan study report that outlines the results of its community outreach, and up to three concept plans. The concept plan is the first step in understanding how the town can revitalize Community Park, the consultant wrote.