UCB remodel nears completion

After five months of construction, United Community Bank’s branch at 10514 Kingston Pike nears the end of its remodel.

The work, which began Feb. 1, is expected to be completed by the end of July, Chris Thomas, UCB vice president, said.

“It’s been a good event but stressful,” Thomas said. We’re glad to see it nearing the end of this phase and getting back to normal.

“We expect to have a ribbon cutting sometime in August.”

The work started upstairs with some minor modifications — carpeting, painting and changing of a couple offices. Workers then moved to the downstairs, which was completely remodeled.

“This is a large branch and a large building space, but we wanted to have more privacy for our customers,” he said. “Even though we are moving toward a more modern, technical age where people do mobile banking and online banking, people still want a brick-and-mortar place they can come to and do face-to-face business, which we still do quite a bit of.”

Downstairs, workers removed glass partitions and built three additional offices and a conference room, Thomas said. There are two offices on either side of the teller line and one office was added on the back.

With the additional space, he said customers have a private area to sit and talk to a banker on a one-on-one basis.

Electrical and HVAC upgrades also were part of the project to make sure the building was all up to code and more efficient.

“We upgraded and put in all energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the building, so we pretty much got rid of the fluorescent bulbs,” Thomas said. “Everything is much more user friendly. We’ve also had to replace all the windows in the building, as a lot of them had broken seals, so we have a lot more energy-efficient building than we had prior.”

Another major part of the project was the teller station line.

“That area was pretty much the biggest focus because they had to do the whole wall,” he said. “[Cabinetry for] the teller line we’ve got was handmade, designed and built.”

“The thing we’re most proud about is pretty much every aspect of our renovation has been done by local businesses.”

Michael Brady did the architect design, Johnson & Galyon Construction was the contracting company and Patterson’s supplied all the appliances.

“We pride ourselves in being a community bank, so we want to make sure when we do things we bring in local businesses,” he said.

The branch did not have to buy new furniture.

“We had three or four offices that were consolidated with

our merger [with First National Bank] last year so we had a

surplus of furniture,” Thomas said. “Pretty much everything we didn’t use we donated to some school or local organization.”