Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bank’s Piper branch ‘coming right along’

November 21, 2007

First State Bank & Trust's soon-to-be newest branch in Piper is making progress.

And, it should be ready to serve its customers by spring 2008.

"It's coming right along," said Jilinda White, executive vice president of the Tonganoxie branch. "The projected move-in date is March 17."

Located in Piper Plaza, just north of Village West shopping center, the 5,600-square-foot bank was designed by Wilson, Darnell and Mann Architects with construction by Julius Kaaz Construction Co. Amenities include automatic doors, a Starbucks Coffee machine, a cyber area with Internet-enabled PCs for customer use and two ATMs.

It will also feature a different name, First Legend Bank & Trust, because another bank with a similar name that is not affiliated with First State Bank & Trust already exists in the area. Bank officials stress that it is still the same bank the community has known for almost 75 years -- this branch just has a slightly different name to fit in with the area.

"With all the development in the area we are planning to be pretty busy," White said.

Along with the development comes the possibly difficult task of staffing the bank. White said bank officials realize the hiring process may be a challenge since there are so many jobs available in the area, but they have posted available jobs both internally and externally and are confident in building a qualified staff.

"We're in the process of hiring a market president, and we've made good progress on that," she said. "We hope to make some announcements fairly soon. That person who takes the helm will work on building the team."

Another addition to the new branch may be some art pieces, such as an outdoor sculpture or fountain. White said the goal was to use a local artisan that specializes in Native American art to add something meaningful and symbolic to the area. The piece may have to be added after the bank opens.

"We're trying to tie all that in, but we really don't have anything solid yet," White said. "If you want to do things right, sometimes you just have to take your time."

First State Bank & Trust also has branches in Basehor, Lawrence, Perry, Wichita and Clearwater.

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