United Prairie debuts its new lookWORTHINGTON — A few details still remain to be completed, but for the most part the United Prairie Bank facility in Worthington is sporting an updated look.
By: Beth Rickers, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — A few details still remain to be completed, but for the most part the United Prairie Bank facility in Worthington is sporting an updated look.
Work on the renovation began May 1 with the intent of having the work completed in July, explained United Prairie Worthington Market President Gary Kellen. The project may have overrun its timeline due to a few holdups, but otherwise has met all expectations.
“It turned out pretty close to what I envisioned,” Kellen said.
The project was instigated by several factors. United Prairie recently closed down its Round Lake branch, and the Worthington location has absorbed some of the Round Lake personnel and operations, creating a need for more office space.
The Worthington United Prairie Bank building, located at 905 McMillan St., is more than two decades old, and was in need of updating, too. In particular, the main teller line inside the bank did not align with the drive-through teller space, so the areas had to be separately staffed, Kellen explained.
“We added four offices and moved the teller line over and back,” he said. “We also moved the filing cabinets up to where the loan officers were so they don’t have to go all the way across to get them.”
Reconfiguring the layout freed up enough room for the additional offices, although a bit of lobby space was lost, too. But in this age of convenience banking, not as many people pass through the lobby on a daily basis.
“Half of our transactions come through the drive-up,” Kellen said, adding that a still-to-come project will revamp that area. “We’ll be looking for bids to add a third line for a deposit-taking ATM.”
Along with the indoor renovation came some new office assignments so that the investment, insurance and loan departments are located in their own areas within the bank.
In addition to framing offices, moving the teller lines and removing a large glass wall that separated the teller spaces, the project also involved new carpet, tile, paint, wallpaper and lighting. Contractors involved in the project included Clair Van Grouw Construction, Gary’s Electric Premier Tile, Carpet Plus, Worthington Glass, Isaac Joens Woodworking and Windom Painting.
“We made a point of keeping it all local,” emphasized Kellen.
Still in the works are some signs, including a large United Prairie Logo that will hang above the teller line, and outdoor signage pointing the way to the ATM.
One of the first big changes was the installation of a three-sided electronic message sign at the corner of 10th Street and McMillan Street. The sign not only advertises the bank’s products and services, but also publicizes community events. It’s eye-catching quality is especially impressive at night, noted Kellen.
“In fact, we got some complaints that it was too bright at night,” said Kellen with a laugh. “So now we shut it off at about 10 or 11 (at night) until 6 (in the morning).”
Kellen hopes the renovations will make the United Prairie Worthington facility more efficient for both his staff and the bank’s customers for years to come.
“We’ve grown into this, and now we’re full,” he said.
The lobby of the Worthington United Prairie Bank is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 to 5 p.m. Friday. The drive-up and walk-up windows are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers can be reached at 376-7327.