Leighton State Bank is preparing for a significant growth stage in both our physical space and our level of service and options for our customers. This expansion is part of the strategic plan we created in 2012. A major part of the plan was to increase the space of our Pella location, and this ultimately resulted in the acquisition of the BP property across the street, which was completed on July 1. Earlier in the spring, the tanks were removed and the site was tested by the DNR. It was determined that most of the frequent monitoring necessary on gas station sites could be discontinued. With this clearance, we are free to move forward with our planning.
We recently began to raze the gas station, and the house on the property was relocated to Albia – and continues to be used as a residence. Though the station will be demolished, much of the concrete should be able to be recycled.
If all goes well, in the fall construction will begin on a new drive-up facility on the east half of the property, allowing greatly improved accessibility and user-friendliness. We anticipate this will be three-lane drive-up with a drive-up ATM machine. The facility will also accommodate walk-in teller traffic. We plan to house much of our commercial account processing in this facility. There will be a meeting room space for about 40-50 people, to be used for staff training events and investment division customer information meetings. Basic kitchen facilities will also be included, for a highly functional and usable space. The west half of the property will be developed as parking space for customers and employees.
Our new facility’s architectural design will mirror the Dutch style of our current facility. We’re excited to be adding to the Dutch sky-line of Pella. We hope to complete the drive-up facility and parking lot in the first half of 2014.
The next phase of construction will be the expansion of the main Pella building to the north, over the former drive-up space. This will create room for VSR Financial Services to move into the building. They will have mainfloor, independent access for customers and their own parking lot.
The changes to the main floor also mean we will have increased floor space to accommodate the existing Pella staff and future growth. We are considering options for an improved customer waiting area, possibly including a customer computer and automatic coin-counter.
Under this addition will be a lower level that will house our operational and bookkeeping functions and IT hardware. The hardware will be relocated to a secure, environmentally controlled room. The operations and bookkeeping teams, currently housed in the Leighton location, will have three to four times their current work space. Although some members of these support teams will be moving to Pella, full banking services will be maintained in Leighton. Also on the lower level will be storage space and an employee break room. Construction on the main facility is targeted for 2014.
Throughout the construction, we will maintain uninterrupted access to the service you expect—drive-up access, for example, will never be disrupted. Our goal is to provide a better working environment for staff and an improved customer experience.
We appreciate your continued loyalty to Leighton State Bank. Thank you!
President and CEO