On April 7, 2017, a ribbon cutting ceremony took place at 785 Roosevelt Trail, Windham, where the old Evergreen Credit Union building previously served its members since 200; and this is where the institution’s new building now stands. The newly constructed, environmentally friendly, energy efficient facility is the first of its kind in Windham and is the flagship of the other branches. Listed as a qualified LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) structure, it also stands as a testament to Windham’s vision for infrastructure redevelopment and a benchmark in keeping with the 21st Century Downtown Plan.
Using geothermal and green energy, LED (light emitting diode) lighting and planting with adoptive landscaping, are just a few of the highlights and solutions for the new branch’s sustainability. “There are different LEED certifications and they are classified as silver, gold and platinum. We are going for the silver because there is a lot involved in achieving the others. There are a lot of other things we would need to do to qualify for that and we felt it wasn’t prudent at this time. It is quite expensive also because it involves installing technology,” explained Senior Vice President of Retail Branch Administration & Operations, Tim Verreault
Jason Lindstrom, the new CEO replacing interim CEO Verreault, has had a lot on his plate; not only with having just moved here from Virginia but also overseeing the financing of the new building since his hiring in November. With 23 years of credit union experience he is up to the challenge. “The building was constructed to specifications to meet LEED certification criteria, a process that can take up to three months. There is a whole long process after we open, where they come in and utilizing a checklist, make sure that we meet the standards,” he explained.
In addition to being green, there are some added modern conveniences for members. There is a coin counting machine which will count coins and then issue a ticket that can be taken to tellers for deposit. It can also be used by non-members, in which case a seven percent fee will be applied to the total amount of the ticket. In addition to this, tellers will be using much more technologically advanced cash machines called cash recyclers. “What that allows us to do, for example, is to take a deposit from a member and feed it into the machine where it will be automatically counted. The same happens when a deposit is made. Mixed denomination bills can be placed in the machine and will be counted with a100 percent accuracy. It also distributes coins. This will cut down on long lines and increase efficiency”, shared Lindstrom.
This facility, which was completed on time and on budget, is much larger than the old building - coming in at 4,000 square feet, to accommodate its approximate 23,000 members. This is an increase of the square footage of the old building by more than half. To further increase efficiency, two additional drive-through lanes were added making a total of three, with room for a fourth if necessary down the road.
John Murphy, President and CEO of the Maine Credit Union League, who oversees 58 credit unions and 685,000 members state-wide stated, “It’s built the way people want to do business today: no cattle lines. People also want to come in and get problems solved within a comfort level while being provided the assistance they are looking for. So it designed to do both”.
As for any changes in personnel, things will basically remain the same. “Actually we will have some of the part-time help go full-time, to be sure we have coverage and then evaluate to see how busy it gets and then go from there,” explained Lindstrom.
Branch Manager for five years, Patty Ross could not readily find the words to describe her new environment - but managed eventually to state, “This is absolutely breath taking! It’s over the top and I’m pretty proud.”
Before the cutting of the ribbon, Tim offered accolades to, among others, the builders and the architects. Also included was the appreciation of Windham Mall owner Ray Wise, for providing space on the parking lot to allow for a temporary facility so that the credit union could continue providing uninterrupted services to its members during construction.