Ground broken on Newcastle firehouse

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The new Newcastle Fire Station is now under construction near Pineview School in Newcastle. Officials broke ground for the new firehouse Monday after successfully working together to make what had once been a dream into a reality. The boards of directors of the Newcastle Fire Protection District and Newcastle Elementary School District, along with the Placer Country Office of Education, worked together to develop the plans for the new station. The fire station will be built on existing open land owned by the Newcastle School District, adjacent to Pineview School. The Fire Protection District recently signed a 10-year renewable lease with the district. Michael Laydon, president of the Newcastle Elementary board of directors, and Bob Stearns, president of the Newcastle Fire Protection District board, were the first to turn shovels of dirt on the site. Fire Chief Dave Ebert said the new station couldn’t come at a better time as the current fire station, located in downtown Newcastle, is more than 100 years old, is dilapidated and is in a bad location for making a quick exit when a call comes in. Estimated cost for the new station is roughly $250,000 with the funds coming from a mitigation account collected over a period of time to be used for infrastructure changes. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall. — Stephanie Breitbart