CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A project that’s been in the works since 2014 is finally underway. 

Shovels are finally in the ground at the new site for Fire Station No. 1.

“It’s from the '60s. It’s very outdated. This is a much-needed upgrade to accommodate our current firefighting staff,” said Charlottesville Public Information Officer Kyle Ervin.

City officials say the $7.5 million project is long overdue. 

“The biggest thing is that this current station doesn’t accommodate for modern fire apparatus,” he said.

This new station will be 8,000 square feet. 

Ervin says it will also be able to store more equipment and gear, hopefully bringing in more firefighters. 

“It’s mainly going to house 3 to 4 personnel 24 hours a day. That is our engine one. And we’re going to have an unstaffed reserve engine and an unstaffed reserve ambulance,” Ervin said.

A modern alert system will be installed to improve the turnout time.

“Which is the time it takes to get the call and the time the firefighters are actually in the apparatus and ready to respond to that call,” says Ervin.

Improvements also include moving to a one-level versus two floors in the original station.

“Let’s say that you get a call and you don’t have a modern alerting system and you’re upstairs there’s a safety hazard actually going down those stairs,” said Ervin.

The current station will then be used for additional office space for department staff. 

The move-in date is set for May 2025.