Mayor Todd Gloria helped break ground Monday on Torrey Pines Fire Station 52, adjacent to UC San Diego, that will serve University City and surrounding communities.
It is the 11th new or rebuilt San Diego Fire-Rescue Department fire station since 2015. The city has opened new fire stations in five neighborhoods since 2014 -- City Heights, Little Italy, Mission Valley, Point Loma and Hillcrest.
"This community has waited patiently for more than five years for a new Fire-Rescue station, and I'm happy to say we're finally getting it done," Gloria said. "I'm grateful for the partnership with UC San Diego that is bringing additional first responder coverage to the Torrey Pines area. The land and funding the university provided were critical to getting this fire station built and helping the city deliver this important infrastructure investment."
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The mayor was joined by UCSD Chancellor Predeep K. Khosla, Councilman Joe LaCava and Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell. Discussions about this project between the city and UCSD Diego began in 2010. The university gave the city $20.5 million and the land upon which the station will be built, east of North Torrey Pines Road on the northwest corner of the campus. The total cost of the facility with surrounding infrastructure improvements is projected to be about $22.2 million, according to the mayor's office.
"Fire Station 52 will protect our community and our climate," said LaCava. "Electrification of our fleet and our facilities will propel us toward our Climate Action Plan goals."
The University City area was identified as needing a new station in the 2017 Citygate Associates Consultant Report. Fire Station 52 will be the first station in San Diego to house an all-electric fire apparatus and rapid electric vehicle charging station.
"We are grateful to UC San Diego for their investment in this facility," said Stowell. "The recent increase in population and density on campus, as well as surrounding communities, means calls for service increase. Once operational, Fire Station 52 will fill a great need in this area."
Once completed, the facility will be two stories tall with more than 14,000 square feet of space and located within SDFD's Battalion 5. It will have three apparatus bays, sleeping quarters for nine personnel, an office for firefighters and the battalion chief's office, an exercise room, a kitchen, a ready room and on-site parking.
According to the mayor's office, it will consist of three firefighter safety zones -- the living areas, areas to perform equipment cleaning and a decontamination area. These zones are intended to follow SDFD's Cancer Awareness Prevention Program guidelines for the health and safety of fire crews.
"This new fire station greatly enhances safety not just for UC San Diego, but also for everyone living and working near campus," Khosla said. "This project is a direct result of our strong relationships with the city of San Diego and our neighbors, and it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving our neighborhood, our city and our region."