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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Newberry fire station to undergo renovations, first since the 1960s

<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-db2c0bdb-1714-f08b-9d20-e30a6650e70c"><span>Newberry Mayor Bill Conrad gives a speech during the groundbreaking of the city of Newberry's Fire Station Expansion and Renovation Project.</span></span></p>

Newberry Mayor Bill Conrad gives a speech during the groundbreaking of the city of Newberry's Fire Station Expansion and Renovation Project.

Inside Newberry’s only fire station, a pinned-up blanket is the only thing separating the cot of a female firefighter from those of her male colleagues.

But Monday, city officials, firefighters and developers lined up behind 10 gold shovels and broke ground on the soon-to-be-expanded Fire Station 28, located at 310 NW 250th St.

The $630,000 overhaul — the station’s first in at least four decades — will provide firefighters private living quarters, offices and a bay for an ambulance Newberry hopes to soon have, said Mike New, the Newberry city manager.

Firefighters will remain at the station during renovations.

Construction on the station, which is a part of the city’s capital improvement plan, will take about six months, he said. This is the first time the station will be renovated since its debut in the 1960s.

“In its day, it was state of the art,” New said. “Standards have changed.”

The renovations will improve the living space for on-duty firefighters and will also include an updated fitness and recreation center, New said.

“The firefighters are thrilled about it,” he said.

Mayor Bill Conrad said the addition of a nearby ambulance will make the firefighters’ jobs much easier. Conrad said the station will soon have an ambulance bay and two additional staff members for each shift in hopes that Alachua County Fire Rescue will allow them to keep an ambulance close by, he said.

“This is a busy town,” he said. “At 3 in the morning, we would like the ambulance here instead of in Gainesville.”

@merylkornfield

mkornfield@alligator.org

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Newberry Mayor Bill Conrad gives a speech during the groundbreaking of the city of Newberry's Fire Station Expansion and Renovation Project.

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