The city of Merrill held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the new fire station located at 110 S. Pier St. in Merrill. Participating in the groundbreaking were Mayor Bill Bialecki, Fire Chief David Savone, city officials, architects and engineers from Becher-Hoppe of Wausau, and general contractor Ellis Stone of Stevens Point. The fire station will be a centrally-located, 4 bay, 20,000-square-foot facility which will house fire trucks, ambulances, and a hazmat unit; with adjacent operations support areas, administrative offices, training space and living quarters. The design of the new station incorporates an innovative exterior wall and roof system to provide energy savings over the life of the building. Construction of the new fire station is anticipated to begin in early May and is scheduled for substantial completion in January 2014.