The Coast News Group
Carlsbad Fire Station No. 2
The Carlsbad City Council approved preliminary design plans for Fire Station No. 2 on April 21. Voters approved Measure O in 2016 to allow the city to demolish and rebuild the station at the intersection of Arenal Road and El Camino Real. Photo by Steve Puterski
Carlsbad Featured Cities

Carlsbad officials advance plans for fire station rebuild

CARLSBAD — Over 50 years ago, the city built its second fire station.

And during its April 21 meeting, the Carlsbad City Council approved preliminary plans for Fire Station No. 2. The project calls for the station to be rebuilt on the existing site at the intersection of El Camino Real and Arenal Road adjacent to the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.

The new station was approved when Measure O was passed in 2016 allowing General Fund money to be used for the construction of a new fire station. City code dictates the city cannot spend more than $1 million of General Fund money to purchase or improve city-owned property without voter approval.

The current station, according to Carlsbad Fire Chief Mike Calderwood, is not up to code, was built to house one volunteer firefighter and cannot house equipment properly.

Fire Station rendering
The City of Carlsbad is expected to begin construction to replace Fire Station No. 2 in La Costa next year. Pictured is a rendering of the new, two-story station. Courtesy photo

“The engine bays are too short for modern-day fire engines,” Calderwood said. “They are both short in height and length. It doesn’t meet some of today’s codes and standards. It will be large enough to house modern-day apparatus.”

The new station will be a two-story building and construction is expected to begin next year. During construction, the station will be temporarily housed at the Dove Library, Calderwood said, noting it was the only location to keep response times similar to the current location.

The station was built in 1969 for one firefighter and 250 service calls. Now, the station has five full-time firefighters and receives about 6,500 calls per year, he said.

The new station will consist of enlarged bays and will prevent equipment from exposure to carcinogens and meet current state building codes. The cost is projected at $12,062,862.

Steve Stewart, the city’s facilities engineering manager, said the timeline may be pushed back one month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he said the project is expected to break ground in June 2021 and be completed by July 2022.

Before construction begins, the city will also remove asbestos and fumigate the old facility, Stewart said.

“I am hoping to get a design-builder on board to complete the design by late October or November,” he added.

Stewart said that the asbestos and abatement must be done because the station has such a small footprint and is adjacent to homes. Additionally, he said, construction will require modifications to the intersection so crews can work safely.

Stewart said the station bays will exit onto El Camino Real and use Arenal Road as an entrance once firefighters are done with a call. He said the purpose is to increase safety, noting traffic will stop due to the signal at the intersection to allow the engines safe access to the road.

1 comment

David April 30, 2020 at 11:15 pm

With fire engines entering directly onto El Camino Real shouldn’t the south bound lanes of the El Camino Real be widened to 3 lanes between Arenal and Lacosta Avenue before construction begins on the firehouse? This is a dangerous segment of the El Camino and the long planned widening is way over due and one of the last segments in the city to be competed. With a large percentage of medical calls heading south to La Costa Glen the engines and ambulance will emerge right were the lanes narrow. It is time to finish the job. Let’s do these in the proper order for safety.

Comments are closed.