JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Jacksonville held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday for a new fire station that will be located on Marketplace Drive.

The ceremony, which included Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips and the City Council was held at the new site for Jacksonville Fire Station 4, 1252 Marketplace Drive. The 5.11-acre plot is city-owned land, part of the Jacksonville Commons and has been cleared in preparation for construction. 

According to a media release, officials said the Jacksonville Council allocated the acreage for the location of the new fire station “to provide a central service location and gain easy access to Western Boulevard with the goal to continue to provide swift emergency response to citizens.”

The new station 4 will have a similar footprint to that of Fire Station 2 located across from the Jacksonville High School on Gum Branch Road.   

“We are excited to start construction on the new fire station,” Phillips said. “The current facility has been a challenge for our first responders with space and age of the building. The new facility will allow for needed room for fire trucks and other vehicles, as well as space for staff, fire prevention, emergency call preparation and training.”  

The current location of Fire Station 4, on Commons Drive North, is also the site of the Onslow County Emergency Operations Center. The building has been shared by the county and city since 2001.