Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bank breaks ground for branch

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

A south branch of the Bank of Holly Springs may be ready to open in 10 months to a year, according to bank president Steve Gresham.

Ground breaking for the new branch bank, to be located on Highway 7 South just south of Cousin’s Exxon and U.S. 78 interchange, took place Wednesday. It was attended by the bank president; nine of the eleven board of directors; representatives from Inman Construction; architect Bill Wage; Industrial Development Authority Director Bill Renick; Don Hollingsworth with the City of Holly Springs; Larry Hall, county administrator, and other officers of the bank.

Gresham said the new two-story, 18,000 square foot facility will provide more operating space, something the bank has wanted for some six years or more.

The downtown main office will be remodeled and remain open for the convenience of customers.

“We have run out of room,” Gresham said. “We started working on a plan for more room in about 1999 and by the time we had it planned out we figured it would be better to have two locations in Holly Springs.”

Both offices will be full-service banks, he said.

The construction will be steel frame with brick veneer, according to architect Bill Wage. Loan offices, accounting offices, CD/IRA offices and a tellers’ row will be housed downstairs. The second floor will have a boardroom, training rooms, bookkeeping and computer rooms, other offices and a storage room.

Thompson Engineering of Memphis will provide the mechanical and electrical drawings; the structural engineer is Barley L. Hitt of Memphis and Inman Construction Company of Memphis is general contractor.

The Lancaster Group recommended the location after a study of retail patterns, other financial institutions, future growth patterns and high traffic flow.

Gresham said after the Lancaster study, the board of directors found the bank could spend its money more wisely by building a new building and remodeling the main office. That would satisfy the space requirements downtown and a new office in the expanding economic area south of the city near future I-22.

The Bank of Holly Springs, established in 1869, is the oldest state bank in Mississippi. Two previous expansions took place, one in 1969 and another in 1983.

The Bank of Holly Springs also has branch offices in Slayden, Potts Camp and Abbeville.

Gresham thanked the community for its loyalty and employees for the quality of service they provide the bank’s customers.

“We want to thank our customers for allowing us to have the growth we’ve had and thank the employees for providing services our customers have come to expect,” he said. “We are continually looking for ways to provide service to the communities we serve.”

Wage said the new building is designed to meet 2003 international building codes adopted and enforced by the City of Holly Springs. The new branch building will be protected with an automatic fire sprinkler system and constructed to be seismic resistant as required by the International Building Code.


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