KSCU Branches stay put, business staff moving

Kootenay Savings administration relocating by end year.

Kootenay Savings Credit Union is looking to save money by putting its proverbial eggs into one basket and consolidating its administration services.

The credit union is planning to move its accounting, lending, corporate and administration offices at Waneta Plaza and the Trail and Warfield branches into the Trail Medical Building.

“A few years ago, we started a project to take administration out of our branches, so we could concentrate on servicing our members better. So it’s a culmination of taking all those groups and trying to consolidate all that together,” said Dario Cescon, vice president of marketing.

Kootenay Savings purchased about 75 per cent of the medical building in 2008, planning for the move and to save substantial rent fees. The area designated for the credit union’s offices is vacant so current occupants will not be impacted.

“We will definitely occupy the remaining space on the first floor and second floor and we plan on putting a training room on the third floor.”

No jobs will be affected, rather the move should bring a boost to the core, says Cescon. “I’m looking at it as a win-win, we bring a few more jobs to downtown Trail and Linda MacDermid (Waneta Plaza manager) is able to build out on her desire for that second floor,” he said.

While Waneta Plaza is losing a valuable and long-time client, the credit union’s exit also makes room for opportunity. The mall already has a few offices filled by health practitioners but the new vacancy opens space for greater variety from all sectors of the health community, including doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists and naturopaths, to create a one-stop health and wellness centre, said mall manager Linda MacDermid.

“Seniors don’t have to drive everywhere and patients don’t have to sit in the doctor’s office, they can wait downstairs and have a coffee – it just makes it a little more family-oriented as well,” she said.

The credit union’s lease expires at the mall this year so MacDermid was prepared for the vacancy.

“It’s been a few years in the plans now and of course you don’t like to lose a tenant because they’ve been here for a long time, but that’s business and life moves on.”

Tenders for construction have gone out to contractors and renovations to the medical building should begin in the spring, be completed by October and staff relocated by the end of the year.

The credit union has no official policy on local hiring but encourages all local contractors to bid.

“We encourage local bidding on our projects but the board has the decisive vote . . . and usually it is the local bidder that wins because of less costs,” said Cescon.