DENISON, TX -- City and fire officials broke ground on a new Southside fire station years in the making.
"We're very excited to get a new addition to the city after a very long time," said Asst. Fire Chief Bill Ray.
Mayor Jared Johnson said the station will cost $1.9 million, paid for with city-issued debt approved last year.
"This will be a much more modern station. It will facilitate all of our equipment that we need to," Ray said.
Officials said with the rapid expansion of south Denison - including the 2009 opening of the new Texoma Medical Center Plaza - they haven't been able to keep up with the growing number of emergency calls.
"And so the results of that, we just need to be closer to south Denison, and put more engines and more folks in this region," Johnson said.
Ray said the current station is only meant to be a two-man operation. But the number of firefighters on shift keeps expanding.
"Between five and six per day at any given time," he said.
Johnson said the new station will add two additional engine bays and accommodate up to 12 fire fighters per shift.
"Also have a community meeting room that the citizens can come and benefit from to just come and have any meeting that they need to," Johnson said.
The station will be a brick and stone building, he said.
"A building that the citizens can be proud of. And the first building that the city's built in over 40 years, as far as a public building," he said.
Ray compares the feeling to Christmas morning.
"So yeah, it's really been a great morale booster for the department, all the guys are excited about it, as well as we are."
They expect the project to take 9 months to complete.