The groundbreaking of Pingree Grove's new fire station -- seven years in the making -- took place during a fitting window of sunshine during an otherwise rainy Tuesday afternoon.
The $3.3 million station is being built on about 3 acres west of Reinking Road just north of Route 72, at the entrance of the Cambridge Lakes North, or Carillon, subdivision.
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Site grading started June 16, but progress has been hampered by the rainy weather over the last few weeks, Illinois Hydraulic Corporation project manager Eric Schmidt said.
Construction could be done by the end of the year, he said, adding IHC's construction contract expires at the end of February.
Fire officials initially hoped to break ground for the 13,000-square foot fire station in March 2013, but that was delayed by issues mostly related to Comcast and ComEd easements, including the need to move a ComEd cable to the south, Pingree Grove and Countryside Fire Chief Mitch Crocetti said.
"I'm very excited," he said. "I'm happy that we broke ground."
Pingree Grove trustee Bob Spieker agreed. "I think it's good for the village. I think it's a testament to our growth."
Pingree Grove has three fire stations, but they are all south of the railroad tracks. The new station is needed in order to avoid a train cutting off access during an emergency, Crocetti said.
Crocetti pointed out the Wood Dale Protection District -- where he previously served as chief -- has two fire stations on either side of the tracks for that very reason, even though it covers only about 5½ square miles.
Pingree Grove Trustee Bernie Thomas said Carillon residents like himself are especially looking forward to the station.
"We've all been waiting two years for this," he said.
The fire station will have state-of-the-art technology, including computer, audiovisual and communication systems, said Larry Hlavacek, project manager for Dewberry Architects in Elgin.
There also will be a community room available for free use by the public, Crocetti said.
The new station will replace the one on Reinking Road -- originally built in the 1960s -- which will be put up for sale. The village of Pingree Grove will have first right of refusal.