By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — For the past three months, the Bank of Castile has had two branches in the village — one the home of bank for the past dozen years, the other its expected home for the next hundred.
They’ve sat one behind the other, the new branch growing in construction, looming in view of a sign proclaiming “it’s easy to switch.”
Less than three months after breaking ground, the bank will do just that tonight and over the weekend — with the opening the new, comfortably spacious and private office and the planned removal of the old office.
”I expect to be doing a lot of tours,” Branch Manager Patrick Weissend said with a smile Wednesday. “I love showing off this place.”
The bank plans to close the old branch at the end of business Thursday, with the new branch opening with the business day Friday. If a few technological hurdles and manpower issues — many of the hands that would help tear down the old branch are helping cleanup and rebuilding efforts in Hurricane Sandy’s wake — are overcome, then the old branch will be just a memory on Monday.
”We’ll have it fully functional when it opens (Friday) ... the major thing is to move the people and offices,” Jay Bailey, Bank of Castile’s facilities manager, said. It will be a long night. “It’s going to be like Black Friday.”
Among the conveniences of the new branch are a drive-up ATM, part of the two-lane drive-thru banking station; a third in-branch teller’s window designed to be accessible for handicapped customers; and room to move.
“It’s new and fresh,” Weissend said. “This whole building is a symbol of our growth in Medina and Orleans County.”
Bank of Castile opened its Medina site as a retail office for its commercial customers 12 years ago. It remodeled the former restaurant at the corner of James and Main streets two years later. Continued growth was welcomed but the bank’s physical capacity has long been tightly packed.
Less than a year ago, plans were made then approved to construct a new branch while maintaining the currents offices, with only drive-thru services curtailed during construction.
“We always knew this property would be our permanent home, but we didn’t know it could happen this way,” Gregg McAllister, a vice president at the bank, said.
Inside the new branch are several areas and rooms that are larger than the current lobby, namely the lobby itself but also the front offices. The new branch has nearly four times the space of the old branch, with a large basement with utility and storage areas and a conference room.
Next to the teller’s windows are a side hall of offices for insurance, mortgage and investment appointments. Those new additions that will make personal transactions more private.
Outside, the branch is designed with its place in the village in mind.
“The cornerstones are sandstone, it’s what holds our building up,” said Lyndonville native Patty Corser, who served as the interior and exterior designer for the project. “It represents what hold our bank up — this community.”Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.