Thursday, September 18, 2008
Bank cuts ribbon on downtown improvements
By SUE WATSON
The oldest state bank in Mississippi – Bank of Holly Springs – cut the ribbon at its downtown building last week after an extensive renovation project inside and out. A large crowd enjoyed the celebration, which included complimentary food and refreshments all day long to the public.
Four new drive-thrus are now available for customers on the go. Those who like to walk in will find the interior spacious and bright.
Bank officers say the renovation of the downtown bank is an investment in the future of both the downtown and of the city.
Vice president Gary Hickman, who has worked over a year to get the renovations scheduled and completed with the help of local contractors, thanked bank directors, whom he said “had the foresight to make this happen.”
He mentioned Tubby Gresham, chairman of the board of directors; Steve Gresham, chief operating officer; and Dick Sanders, chairman of the building committee; for including the downtown offices in the Bank of Holly Springs expansion project that began with the construction of the South Branch about two years ago.
The bank opened in a single building in 1869 and over the years has expanded its downtown office space and gone through several renovations including one in the 1960s. Bank of Holly Springs South Branch opened in December 2006.
Hickman praised bank employees for working under disrupting conditions “for four months up here to make this happen.”
“Computers, whether we like it or not, make the world go around,” he said.
“We were never without a computer the whole time.”
Hickman was referring to the upgrading of the banking system by Joe Fant, a task necessary to keep work at banks flowing and for the four new drive-thrus.
All utilities were buried underground during the renovation of the parking lot and drive-thru area, making the downtown site one of the first to do away with utility poles. John Collins and George Humphreys with the Holly Springs Utility Department provided valuable assistance in mapping out the buried utilities - water, gas, electric and sewer.
More parking space was added in the rear and the area was attractively landscaped.
He emphasized the use of all local contractors in the bank renovation - Bain & Sons Construction for parking lot construction; architect Bill Wage; Barry Ray, with Southern Commercial for the interior remodeling and restoration of the exterior areas; and Heffington Electric of Mt. Pleasant.
Planning for the bank expansion began in 1999, starting with the construction of the South Branch offices, said Steve Gresham.
“Then we came back to do something befitting the oldest bank in the state,” he said. “This is a wonderful job by the contractors, our employees and mostly our customers who allowed us to grow.”
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