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Crews Break Ground On Hillcrest Fire Station Replacement

The design for Fire Station No. 5 is shown in this undated rendering.

Credit: Rob Wellington Quigley Architecture and Planning

Above: The design for Fire Station No. 5 is shown in this undated rendering.

A $9.2 million replacement project for the small and aging San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Hillcrest station began Tuesday.

Station 5 at Ninth and University avenues is the third-busiest in the department, responding to around 16 calls a day. However, the 65-year-old facility is too small for modern fire trucks, according to the mayor's office.

"This 1950s-era station will be replaced with a modern facility that can house more equipment and fire vehicles to better serve nearby neighborhoods," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "It's an example of the city's record-level investments in infrastructure and ongoing improvements to public safety coming together for the community's benefit."

The new 10,731-square-foot, two-floor station will include a larger bay able to house a fire engine, a fire ladder truck and a chief emergency vehicle. It will be twice as large as its predecessor.

"The firefighters assigned to Fire Station No. 5 have a long history of ensuring that fires are suppressed quickly and medical calls are answered with excellent patient care," SDFRD Chief Brian Fennessy said. "With a larger and modernized station, they'll be able to continue that tradition for generations to come."

Councilman Todd Gloria, who represents Hillcrest, said the larger facility will also improve living conditions for the firefighters.

The current station will be demolished later this month. The firefighters will work out of a temporary facility on Third Avenue until the project is finished in about two years.

Faulconer said that since he took office, the city has opened a new fire station in Mission Valley and begun construction of fire facilities in City Heights and along the downtown waterfront.

A 2011 report commissioned by the fire department found San Diego needed 19 new fire stations.

A bond pushed by Councilwoman Marti Emerald this year to build 18 stations failed to get enough votes on City Council to be placed on this year's ballot.

Google Street View Of Fire Station No. 5

This street view on Google Maps shows the fire station currently at Ninth and University avenues in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego.

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