A rendering of the new North Park Fire Station at 1011 Harlem Road is shown.

Per North Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Joel Hallstrom (current location 600 Wood Ave.), a groundbreaking was held at the department’s new building site (1011 Harlem Rd.) Nov. 20 to celebrate the start of new construction by Cord Construction and Blakemore Architects of Rockford.

As noted at the Fire District site, “After lots of challenges, COVID inflation and more – the district’s board of trustees has approved the construction of our new station to be located in the 1000 block of Harlem Road.

“At the time of the bond referendum, we had no idea after the COVID outbreak that material and labor costs would increase so quickly. Multiple attempts to bid out the building, find opportunities for cost savings, etc. eventually resulted in the building rendering attached.”

“The current fire station has been dutifully serving Winnebago County since the department was established in the 1940s. Since that time, growth and development have changed the fire protection landscape in Winnebago County, with municipal fire departments taking over fire and emergency services for areas annexed by Rockford and Loves Park.

“This new station will replace three existing buildings, all dating back to the 1950s and ‘60s. All are inefficient, expensive to maintain and operate, too small for current firefighting apparatus and poorly located within the current district’s boundaries. This new facility will bring a new era of efficiencies in operational capabilities as well as being less expensive to operate.”

The ground-breaking ceremony formally kicked off construction of the new at 1011 Harlem Road

The North Park Fire Protection District provides fire protection, medical, and other emergency services to residents of southern Machesney Park and unincorporated communities beyond the city limits of Rockford and Loves Park.

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