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Calgary officials break ground on Cornerstone multi-service development

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The City of Calgary held a groundbreaking ceremony in the northeast community of Cornerstone on Wednesday for a new multi-service development.

The Cornerstone will include a fire station, household hazardous waste drop-off location and, in future, affordable housing. 

Calgary Fire Department (CFD) chief Steve Dongworth says that over the last five years, call volume in that general area has doubled, in alignment with area population increases.

"Right now, we're serving that population out of a temporary fire station, which is essentially a house with a large garage with one fire engine in there," he said.  

"This permanent facility will allow us to provide more appropriate service that's more scale to that community as it develops."

Phase one of the new development, which includes a two-bay fire station and hazardous waste drop-off, has a budget of $16 million.

The City of Calgary is aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification for the development, meaning it’s being built with sustainability in mind.

"Once completed, the fire station will feature advanced air quality ventilation designed with low-emitting building materials," states a City of Calgary news release.

"Some features in the fire station, such as improved acoustic separation between active and living areas, and indoor environment controls related to lighting, daylighting and thermal comfort, have been included to support firefighters’ health and wellness."

Dongworth describes the development as vitally important when it comes to safety of the community and firefighters.

"Fire doubles in size every 30 seconds," says Dongworth.

"Every minute that you're in cardiac arrest, your chance of survival reduces by 10 per cent, until by 10 minutes you have essentially no chance of survival."

Since CFD responds to both fire and medical calls, Dongworth emphasizes this facility will help ensure they can maintain their targets.

"Seven minutes to get a first unit on scene 90 per cent of the time, and then actually 11 minutes to get a full kind of firefighting force on scene, 90 per cent of the time," said Dongworth.

"This is a responsible investment for our city’s future, one that will yield dividends in public safety, environmental sustainability, and community prosperity," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, in a Wednesday news release.

The facility at 134 Cornerstone Heights N.E. is scheduled to open in spring 2025.

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