"This is a culmination of several years of work and planning," said Craig Bowen, district fire chief. "It's allowing us to build a fire station to meet the responses of the growing (population)."
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District held the groundbreaking Friday, Feb. 1. More than a dozen people attended the event, including fire chiefs and other public officials.
The facility will house Fire Station No. 36, which will move from its present location further down Camino Tassajara past Johnston Road. The new location is closer to neighborhoods on Camino Tassajara, noted Bowen.
The new station will be a one-floor, 7,000-square-foot building, and will house three firefighters, one fire engine and one wildland vehicle, Bowen said. Construction will begin this month, and the station will be finished in October 2009. The cost of the project is $3.4 million.
The fire district also plans to rebuild Fire Station No. 32 at its same location on Stone Valley Road in Alamo, a quarter mile east of I-680.
The district purchased the southwest lot at the corner of Danville Boulevard and Hemme Avenue in Alamo two years ago, with plans to build a new station on the site for Station No. 32, but a statistical analysis concluded that its current location serves the Valley best, said Bowen.
Station No. 32 has six fire personnel, two engines, one ambulance and wildland vehicle. Half of the crew can respond to a call, and the rest of them can be on standby so Alamo has good coverage, Bowen said.
"The response time from that station is the (quickest)," he said. "Our goal is to have a five minute response 90 percent of the time."
"We can best meet the needs of the community from that station," he added.
The new fire station on Stone Valley Road will take two to three years to build.
"We are in the design phase right now," Bowen said. "Once we have a preliminary design, we will have formal meetings with the Alamo Improvement Association and the Contra Costa Planning Department."
Bowen said the district has not decided what to do with the land on Danville Boulevard and Hemme Avenue, and it will retain ownership of the property for the time being. He noted there have been several interested parties wanting to buy the lot.