First State Community Bank

Renovations + Rollouts / Strategy → Design → Interiors / Multiple Locations

The Challenge

Trust is built from strong communication and is a key to any successful project. For First State Community Bank (FSCB), trust was critical to begin work on any of their numerous projects. They were looking for a partner that could help them update and renovate several new locations they had gained through acquisitions, and no firm was better equipped for that job than NewGround. By talking with our strategy team, FSCB went from wanting a single branch interior to remodel to a complete ground-up prototype and branch network transformation.

For a larger bank system like FSCB, maintaining their reputation and the traditional clientele is extremely important. With more than 60 branches across Missouri, they have grown a loyal customer base. FSCB wanted to elevate their look and feel by updating their branches and creating a more modern design. However, they still wanted to maintain recognizable branding for their customers. NewGround helped conceptualize their brand identities into a physical space with a flagship branch design.

The Journey

“Our designs and strategies helped them [FSCB] bring their ideas and concepts about the industry and the way they operate to life,” says Bruce Wolferding, Vice President of Business Development at NewGround. “This is their flagship location, the first project of many. This is a huge step for them and is extremely important for them, and this will set the tone for many other future projects.”

One of the key design features that FSCB aimed to implement was reducing the size of their lobby. The previous lobby of this location was cavernous, huge, and intimidating. They wanted to move their tellers further up, closer to the customers, and create office space behind the teller area. They needed a functional update to the branch as well since it was 20 years old and in heavy need of technological upgrades. NewGround designers and architects made sure to keep all of these concepts at the front of their designs. We added an ATM wall, cash counter, and cash recycler to their design, and surrounded them with warm, inviting colors and rich wooden textures.

While many financial institutions grow their presence through ground-up locations, some institutions, like FSCB, prefer to develop their business through mergers and bank acquisitions. This is a common business strategy, but can sometimes lead to locations feeling muddled, confused, and meshed together as a result of conflicting designs from the previous owners. Mergers are a smart business venture but making sure that the space is updated to reflect the new branding is critically important to maintaining customer loyalty.

FSCB needed to create a new look and feel for their space without alienating their pre-existing customer base. NewGround needed to elevate who they were throughout their branches instead of starting from scratch with a brand-new idea. When designing the flagship branch, NewGround environmental designers decided to create a heritage and culture wall. The culture wall showcases the rich history of FSCB while still providing a fresh, new, and interesting centerpiece for customers. They incorporated wooden textures and colors, as well as a deep rich green that pairs well with the otherwise bright interior. They also kept some of the traditional details like molded ceilings but provided a fresh perspective with new paint colors and an open layout.

The Destination

While the project with FSCB began with designing the retail and lending department sections of the Farmington location, NewGround’s expertise and ability to communicate a client’s ideas and branding proved to FSCB our capabilities as a firm. As a result, NewGround will be working with FSCB to complete six additional locations and incorporate our design updates in the future. NewGround was happy to work with such a detailed and historical space, and our environmental designers and interior designers were careful to honor the space while providing a modern look and feel. Overall, NewGround took a traditional concept and created a more relevant and customer-driven space.