Evergreen Credit Union in Windham will demolish its current building and construct a new, environmentally friendly facility on its current site on Route 302.

The construction will start in mid-July at 785 Roosevelt Trail, where the company first moved in 2001.

Since then, membership has tripled, said interim CEO Tim Verreault.

“We felt it was time to provide membership with improved, functional facilities that can meet the demand and complement our member service team,” he said.

Evergreen, originally S.D. Warren Credit Union, was founded 65 years ago to service the employees of the paper company. Nearly two decades ago, the company changed its name to Evergreen and within a decade began to service the general public. It has roughly 23,000 members.

Verreault said that “because of our history and our name, Evergreen, we’re embarking on a path of sustainability,” by constructing an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly facility to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) qualifications.

To obtain LEED certification, Verreault said, the construction process needs to be informed by sustainability initiatives from start to finish, from the demolition of the old building to the materials used in the new building.

The building will have a geothermal system, according to Verreault, which heats and cools by extracting water from underground. The building will not use oil, propane or natural gas. To become LEED certified, the building needs to use a certain percentage of recyclable content and energy-efficient lighting.

The facility will also be much larger, increasing the square footage by more than 55 percent and creating three drive-through lanes, compared with one now.

The floor plan for the facility is an open-concept, said Verreault. The tellers will not stand behind a single counter. Instead, they will be stationed behind free-standing pods and will be able to walk out to great people.

Verreault said this design, which is a trend among new financial institutions, will provide for a more open dialogue between the teller and the member.

Construction will take take approximately six to seven months, Verreault said, but services at the site will not cease. The credit union will continue to operate from a modular building in the back parking lot. The temporary building will have teller support and services, ATM and drive-up services, and lending services. The same hours of operation will continue.

Town Manager Tony Plante said that Evergreen Credit Union is “continuing their presence in North Windham is really exciting. As redevelopment occurs we should continue to work with businesses like Evergreen Credit Union to create a future North Windham to be proud of.”

Redevelopment is a chance to “set down a template for that the future of North Windham will look like,” Plante said, relating the new development to the town’s 21st-century downtown plan.

The 21st-century downtown plan, the town’s vision for North Windham, involves infrastructure and land-use regulations that would guide redevelopment. One part of the “vision” is to have buildings constructed closer to the street, with parking in the rear of the building, to create a more contemporary downtown feel.

Plante said he wasn’t sure if the credit union will be the only LEED-certified building in Windham, but that it’s “the only one I know of.”

Another piece of the town’s 21st-century downtown plan includes constructing sidewalks and streetscape while burying the powerlines in North Windham. The design plans were finalized were finalized earlier this month and are estimated to cost $15.8 million.

Design plans for a new Evergreen Credit Union, which will be built at the bank’s location on Route 302. 

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