Union Savings Bank

Bethel, CT

Union Savings Bank knew that a substantial change needed to be made at their busiest branch in Bethel, CT. This bank was quite outdated with dark, uninviting office spaces that lacked consistency and efficiency. Bank leadership discussed building a new branch about a mile down the road since their current branch was just a tenant in a larger office building. However, after looking at the demographic details in the area, the bank did not feel confident that their customers would drive farther away. Instead, they shifted their focus to a complete remodel of their existing space.

Union Savings Bank chose NewGround as their partner because of our expertise in designing the branch of the future. Due to the heavy amount of customer traffic, this location needed to remain open and operational during the renovation, so the work was broken down into two phases. During phase one, operations were moved to the front of the building while construction began on the new offices and teller stations. In phase two, operations were moved to the newly finished space, while the conference room and new entrance were completed. The teller pods and recyclers enhanced personal engagement with customers and added an extra level of security as the recyclers handle the incoming and outgoing money. The pods created a positive impact on the employee experience since the tellers were free to move around and were not constricted to one spot all day.

The NewGround Design Team produced an open plan design with expression of the bank’s brand colors, a stacked stone logo wall, and glass partitions to produce a more comfortable environment for customers and employees alike. Union Savings CEO Cynthia Merkle says, “The customer feedback has been great. They love the bright open look and the ‘non-bank’ feel.” The bank also has a community-minded approach, making their new conference room available as a meeting space for local non-profit groups free of charge. “This has worked very well for us as many evenings it is in use, so we are gaining exposure with non-customers as well. The local chamber meets in our office monthly now and they love it,” says Merkle.