Building for the future
The 500 block of Second Street has been buzzing with activity as a longtime Webster City business begins the process of expanding its presence in the community.
First State Bank will expand their offices to the west with a two-story addition to provide more office space for its operations division and to make room for future growth.
The expansion will require the demolition of three downtown buildings. Work began last week as the contactors demolished the former Home Appliance store and the building next door. The third building, which most recently was home to the Hair Mechanix, will also be razed, a task officials said will be done carefully so as not to damage the business next door, True Value Hardware.
Dave Taylor, president and chief executive officer of First State Bank, said the new addition will stretch about mid way into the existing parking lot. The new parking lot will be similar to what exists now, but the west side will feature a double lane for traffic. The lot also adds an additional 16 spaces.
Taylor said the expansion will add another 6,500-square-feet to the building. The retail portion of the business will be housed in the new portion of the building.
“This end will basically be the retail portion – personal bankers, tellers, the trust department and walk-in retail traffic,” he said. “Lending and operations will be housed in the existing portion of the building.”
Taylor said about 15 employees work in the basement, and with the expansion, those people will be moving upstairs.
“It’s just not conducive to meet with customers in the basement,” he said. “What we’ve been doing, is have those employees come upstairs to meet with people. And there are not really any offices for them to use now.”
The expansion will offer space to meet with customers in a more private, comfortable setting, he said.
“We’ll bring operations upstairs to where the current teller area is, build a couple of offices. Then they can have offices to meet with people,” he said. “We’ll move as many people as we can upstairs.”
Taylor said the operations department of the main bank in Webster City provides all the ancillary services for the branch offices.
The upper level of the addition is designed for the future growth of the firm.
“We’ll use it in the short run for a training space and as a conference room for staff meetings. It’s basically a big open room” he said. “If we needed it, we could add offices there.”
Taylor said he hopes construction of the addition will begin in mid-July. But he said with that phase, there will be some inconvenience.
“We’ll have to shut our parking lot down,” he said. Customers will need to park in the spaces on Second Street in front of the building and use the south entrance.
“We’ll try to keep the drive-up window open every day but there will be days when we can’t,” he said. As construction progresses, the drive up will may to close to allow for footings to be poured, for example.
During the construction, there will be a temporary drive out lane added which will circle customers back to the east through the alley parking lot.
Taylor said the construction is expected to be completed in about 14 months.
First State Bank’s Jewell branch has a new home right on Main Street.
“The building opened on Monday, June 4 and that went well,” he said. “I think our staff is excited to be in a new building.
The bank operated out of a temporary location during construction.
“That site worked fantastic, but it’s nice to have a bank facility with safety deposit boxes, a drive up lane, a night drop box and all the amenities and services that people are looking for. We have those now,” Taylor said.
The Jewell branch has three bank employees and two agency staff members.