A Webster City bank began a new chapter in its business life on Wednesday afternoon as WCF Financial Bank broke ground for its new facility at the corner of Fair Meadow Drive and Superior Street.
"On this occasion, the ground breaking of a new state-of-the-art building, our institution is aimed to improving our customer service, supporting the future growth of the institution and to reflect our strong commitment to the future of Webster City," said Stephen Mourlam, WCF Financial Bank president and chief executive officer.
The bank closed at 4 p.m. so the staff members could attend the ceremony. Mourlam and members of the bank's board of directors gathered near a large sign at the front of the property. Board members attending the ceremony included Dennis Tasler, chairman; Harold Pursley; Don Newman, retired board member and past bank president; Dr. Leo Moriarty, Tom Chalstrom and Kyle Swon.
The WCF Financial Bank board of directors prepares to turn the first shovelfuls of dirt at the site of the institutions new facility. A ground breaking was held Wednesday afternoon. The directors are, from left, Kyle Swon, Tom Chalstrom, Leo Moriarty, Stephen Mourlam, bank president and CEO, Dennis Tasler, board chairman, Harold Pursley and Don Newman,
"This is a joyous occasion, especially for those of us who live and work in Webster City," said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Brown.
"We are celebrating among friends, co-workers and other chamber members. We share a bigger vision for the future of our community. We believe in each other and the future of this town," Brown said. She added that the bank project required leadership, foresight and careful planning.
"WCF Financial Bank can see the grander possibilities available for all of us," she said.
Mayor Doug Getter congratulated Mourlam, the staff and board of directors.
"One of the nice things about Webster City is the entrepreneurial cornerstone that it is built upon," said Getter. "It's with this project that we take another step forward in expanding that cornerstone."
Ed Sadler, city manager, told the gathering that the bank project was another example of the community's commitment to growth.
"There has been a great amount of growth that has happened in this community in the past few years - especially in this area (of town)," Sadler said. "People are really exhibiting their faith in the enduring nature of Webster City."
Mourlam said that even though the institution is just breaking ground, planning for the new facility has been going on for some time.
"This wouldn't be happening without the foresight and vision of past boards of director in making the decision to position our institution for growth as well as their confidence in the future of Webster City. WCF Financial has been an anchor of the community for 80 years," he said.
The business opened as a savings and loan in 1934. The financial institution moved to its present location at the corner of Des Moines and Division streets in 1960. When the bank moves into its new location next year, Mourlam said Webster City Community Schools would move into the present location.
"That will become the school administration building and will house various programs. We're excited about that, too," said Mourlam.
The new bank is a 15,880-square-foot two-story facility. It will feature green building materials, convenient front-door parking, waiting area with a fireplace and drive-through banking lanes. The existing ATM machine will remain in its present site and the new bank will be angled to face the intersection of Fair Meadow Drive and Superior Street. Single Source Architects and Masterbuilders are in charge of the new building's design and construction.
The building will also feature a 1,000-square-foot community room, which Mourlam said would be available for meetings and programs evenings and on the weekends.
Mourlam drew a laugh from the crowd when he said the feature of the new facility that he looks forward to most is not having to cope with a one-way street. The present location's drive-through lanes are situated on Des Moines Street, a one-way street heading east.
"We look forward to the success of this new building," he said. "We hope you will all come back in early 2015 for the grand opening."