By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
The Fairmont Federal Credit Union is expanding to the Gateway Connector.
Stanley Rittenhouse, treasurer and CEO, said the credit union closed on a 4.77-acre property on Friday, Oct. 4. The site is located at the top of the Connector at the corner of the stoplight near the I-79 northbound entrance and exit, which will provide easy access for customers.
Fairmont Federal Credit Union has outgrown its main facility, stationed at 401 10th St. with the corporate offices across the street in the old Social Security building. The financial institution had been looking all around the Fairmont area for a place to build a bigger location to house its operations, Rittenhouse said.
The credit union determined that the Gateway Connector was the best property in town in terms of the size needed for expansion down the road, he said. Plus, the top of the Connector should see a lot of business growth in the future that will hopefully kick start the economy in the area.
Rittenhouse said Fairmont Federal Credit Union’s move to the Connector will encourage other businesses to consider establishing stores there.
“We’re excited about it,” he said. “Our hope is it pays off for us. It also should pay off for the community as a whole.”
The project is currently in the pre-planning phases. The credit union is in contact with a design firm out of Ohio that builds credit union offices to get a rough idea of the cost and size of the new facility, Rittenhouse said.
He said the financial institution would ideally like to see construction start in the spring, following the bidding, and be finished approximately by mid- to late 2015. Of course, that timeframe depends upon the planning process and the weather.
“What we think we’re going to benefit from is better service to our members,” Rittenhouse said. “Our location should be more convenient over there for a lot of our members. It’s right off the interstate.”
Once the new facility opens, Fairmont Federal Credit Union will move out of the old Social Security office, which will be put up for sale, he said. At this time, no plans have been finalized for its other location.
The credit union, which is in its 74th year of business, has 11 locations in Marion, Harrison, Monongalia and Taylor counties. Marion County is the home of seven of those sites.
Rittenhouse said the financial institution will continue to keep its members and the public up to date as the project progresses and more definite plans are made.
Email Jessica Borders at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.