Relationship Banker Karen Lewis is ready to greet customers shortly after Mascoma Bank’s new Woodstock branch building opened on Monday, April 30. (Gareth Henderson Photo)
By Virginia Dean, Standard Correspondent
Entering the town of Woodstock from the east along U.S. Route 4, a new two-story, brick-veneer building rises high and fast on the right, the home of the new Mascoma Bank branch to replace its old one not far down the road.
“The move was done in order for us to have a location in Woodstock that we owned versus being a tenant,” said VP Administrative Services Officer Glen Valentine. “It was also to bring the bank retail, Mascoma financial services, and Woodstock mortgage office all under one roof. And, the visibility of this site made it an ideal location for us.”
The project began mid-August 2017, according to Project Manager Patrick Redden of Upland Construction, LLC. The new building was officially opened on Monday, April 30.
The crew on the project consisted of approximately 100 members including masons, metal workers, carpenters, insulators, roofers, cabinet markers, painters, plumbers, electricians and landscapers, to name only a few.
The wood-framed building that, according to Redden, is “extremely well-insulated with spray foam inside and out, triple-insulated glass windows, electric heat pumps providing climate control, and LED lighting,” consists of a 1,101-square-foot basement; 1,960-square-foot first floor, and a 999-square-foot second floor, explained Valentine.
“The building construction exceeds today’s energy efficiency codes,” said Valentine.
The first floor will have a teller pod, personal banker area, branch manager’s office, customer technology area, and a comfortable seating area for customers.
The second floor will be occupied by Mascoma Financial Service and the Woodstock Mortgage Group managed by Norm Frates, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending.
“I’m very excited about the move to our new building,” said Frates. “Our space on the second floor will be great to run our mortgage operation out of. Customers will also appreciate the accessibility, location and parking that will be available.”
Frates related that there is also a conference room in which to hold customer meetings, closings and meetings within the bank. The room will also be available to nonprofit organizations to hold periodic meetings.
“I know I will be using it for an occasional Woodstock Rotary Club committee meeting,” said Frates. “We’ll also hold Zack’s Place meetings.”
The total lot on which the bank sits is 0.926 acres, related Valentine. It holds 17 parking spaces, a drive-up window, and a remote drive-up ATM.
Woodstock AVP Branch Manager Cheryl Treworgy anticipates that the parking will be better with more spaces, and the new location beneficial to its customers.
“The move will positively impact our customers in many ways,” said Treworgy. “First, they will be able to find the branch. Even though we have been here for 16 years now, because of signage limitations, many of our customers cannot find us or the drive-up. At least once a week someone tells us that they never knew we were here.”
Treworgy said the actual branch environment is also going to be a better experience.
“We’ll be implementing a new innovative design concept for the teller line,” said Treworgy. “We’ll be using teller pods instead of a traditional teller line. Our branch staff will be cross-trained to take care of most of the customer needs right at the teller pod. With the pod concept, our goal is to make each transaction a friendlier and more personal interaction.”
Customers can also look forward to have a hands-on demonstration of the electronic banking features, she said.
“We’ll have a tablet and cell phone for customers to access so that we can show them how to use our online banking and mobile banking systems,” said Treworgy.
Treworgy indicated that she is looking forward to the move for a number of reasons.
“After working at this branch (448 Woodstock Road) for 12 years, it will be a pleasure to work in a brand new building that has a beautiful design inside and out,” said Treworgy. “It’ll be wonderful to have a business sign that is easily seen. I think that the new building shows that we are dedicated to the community and we are here to stay. Now people in this area will recognize Mascoma Bank. I also think that the building has improved the East End of town immensely.”
A grand opening ceremony is expected later in May to celebrate the move.
Read more about this project and Mascoma Bank, and view more photos, in a special section in our May 3, 2018, print or e-edition.