ALACHUA ‒ On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, the Alachua County Commission held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the new Alachua County Fire Station #21 located at 16121 N.W. 173rd Street/CR 235A, in Alachua.

In attendance were members of the Alachua County Commission and staff, Alachua County Fire Rescue, Alachua City Commission and staff as well as members of the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and members of the public. Speakers included Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman, Fire Chief Harold Theus and County Commission Chair Mary Alford.

Just days prior to the groundbreaking ceremony Lieberman said, “We have planned for the relocation of station 21 for many years, and we are so happy to see it become a reality.”

Station 21 will be the second fire station of the new Alachua County Fire Rescue prototype design, with Station 80 on Southwest 20th Avenue in Gainesville being the first.

The planned single-story concrete masonry facility features energy-efficient equipment and sustainable design features, with 100 percent backup generated power. There will be three drive-through bays and 10 bunkrooms. The $7 million 11,500-square-foot state-of-the-art building is estimated to last 50-plus years.

At the time of opening, six people will operate out of the station 24 hours a day seven days a week. The station will house an Advanced Life Support Fire Engine, an Advanced Life support Ambulance, a brush truck, a water tanker, and a District Chief.

Liberman said, “The station is designed to house 10 people and as this area continues to grow, strong consideration s needed in adding an aerial apparatus to serve this area.”

Fire Chief Theus estimated a construction period of about 12 months. Once the new facility is operational, the current Fire Station 21 operations will be relocated from 15040 N.W. U.S. Highway 441 across from Alachua Elementary School to the 173rd Street location. The new Fire Station 21 will provide coverage to the western part of Alachua and the new Fire Station 25, located in Tech City, will provide coverage to the other end of Alachua and the surrounding county area.

“We have recognized the need for a new Station 21 for decades, and it came down to finding a good location for it to go,” said Liberman. “And with the addition of Fire Station 25 in the Tech City area, it makes sense to move to a different location within the city.”

The Lunz Group, from Lakeland, provided architectural and engineering services for the project and the D.E. Scorpio Corporation is the construction management firm “at risk”.

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