Friday, July 15, 2016

Evergreen Credit Union looks to be the first LEED certified building in Windham - By MIchelle Libby

Last Thursday, Evergreen Credit Union held a ceremonial groundbreaking at their location on Route 302 in North Windham. The interim CEO as well as many of the members of the board of directors and the community participated. 
The new building, which will be done early next year, will be a LEED certified space, the first in Windham according to Town of Windham town manager Tony Plante and the credit union CEO. “LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money,” according to the US Green Building Council website. 

“It will continue our mission on sustainability. This is one more way to accomplish our mission,” said Evergreen Credit Union Interim CEO Tim Verrault. “The building is really outdated. We want top notch.” 

The credit union has tripled its membership since opening in Windham. Evergreen Credit Union has four locations with 23,000 members in Cumberland County. It has been in existence for 65 years dating back to SD Warren Credit Union, which existed for the paper mill in Westbrook. Membership now is based on those who work or live in Cumberland County or have immediate family members who are already members, said Verrault. 
The new building will be the first time Evergreen has done a redesign of a branch by creating a whole new building. Other branches have been renovated, but this is exciting for all involved.
“We only do financial institutions,” said TLA president and architect Jim Durgin. “This is the first LEED certified building we have done.”

The new branch will have “dialogue banking” where tellers are no longer behind a locked counter, but are accessible to the members. The “pod” concept makes the space very open and welcoming,” Verrault added. 
The physical space will increase as well from the existing 2,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet. Verrault expects the new space to be state of the art for its members and employees. 

Evergreen CU is doing this to “promote better service for all existing members,” said Howard Lowell, marketing director. “They’re not doing this to grow, but to provide state of the art services.” existing building was purchased in 2001. “At the time we knew it was going to be a temporary branch,” said Verrault. The credit union plan to recycle as much of the materials as they can from the existing building. 

When the demolition begins on the building built more than 20 years ago, banking transactions will take place in a rental unit in the parking lot behind the bank. The special bank rental from Portland Safe will be open for business on July 25th. There will be plenty of signage marking the temporary location, said Verrault. 

The temporary branch will have three teller stations plus the drive up window. There will still be traditional banking services, like night drops, walk in service, and drive up service all with the same hours. 

“The new structure provides the same security practices utilized in the original branch,” said Verrault. The nine employees will continue to do their jobs in the temporary location. 

The construction will be completed by Allied Cook and the interior design will be by TLA Architects.  The new building will fit in with the 21st Century Plan for downtown Windham, according to Verrault. 

“When you think about what’s to come, it will be worth it,” said board of directors member Julie Lunt-Farley.

R to L
Robert Dodge – Board of directors
Julie Lunt-Farley – Board of directors
Jennifer Breton – Board of directors
Tim Verrault – Interim CEO
Chris Doe – Board chairman
Patty Ross – Branch manager
Tony Plante – Town Manager
John Holt – Board member
Dawn Dyer – Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce director
Jim Durgin – TLA Architect
Tom Greer – Pinkham & Greer Civil Engineers
Matt Cook – Allied Cook Industries

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