Building meant for community

By Geoff Lee

March 8, 2016 9:26 AM

Synergy Credit Union facilities manager Randy Glynn removes a see through floor panel near the front entrance to show the ducting and power connections under the 22 inch raised flooring in the 60,000 sq. ft. building.

There’s Synergy Credit Union, the building, and Synergy, the company building communities.
Both topics were top of mind for company executives such as CEO Glenn Stang, who was part of a media tour of the new $20 million Lloydminster head office last week.
“It’s bringing all our long term planning and our vision together,” said Stang in advance of the March 14 public opening.
“The feedback from the community has been very positive.”
The new 60,000 sq. ft. building at 4908 42nd Street will house Synergy’s retail and business banking services and wealth services provided by Credential Financial Strategies Inc.
More importantly, it will be a destination meant to engage the whole community, not just Synergy members.
“The east wing is my favourite part of the building because it’s really open to the whole community,” said Stang.
The main floor wing is designed specifically as a community hub with a Community Room available to non profits and other organizations to host meetings.
There is also an area to showcase local entrepreneurs with a pop-up retail space.
“It’s actually booked to May and we are also working with Community Futures to launch their summer student entrepreneurial program,” said Stang.
The Bean Counter cafeteria will serve soup and sandwiches and provide free coffee and tea throughout the day.
“People can come for their lunch, have a coffee on us and heat up their lunch in public microwaves and meet with people,” said Stang.
Synergy also hopes to get an IT shop in the future geared toward providing services to small business that might not be available to them locally.
“This is a destination for a whole bunch of things, not just financial services,” said Stang.
“You don’t have to be a member to come to the building to experience the things that are going on here.”
Synergy will be holding a grand opening on April 16 at 1 p.m with tours to all four floors.
The company is currently working on finding tenants to lease 20,000 sq. ft. of space on the top two floors.
Stang said the new building and what it provides definitely fits the shop local concept that Synergy is all about for its 27,000 plus members.
“Deposit money can only be lent locally and so everything we do is focused on the needs of our local people,” he said.
Stang added small business is really the backbone of the economy and Synergy serves small business very well with branches in 10 communities in west-central Saskatchewan.
Lloydminster branch manager Gord Thiel was equally stoked about being able to serve their retail and business banking customers that much better in the new location.
“We’ve been planning the building for what seems like forever, but I guess it’s three or four years now,” said Thiel.
“It’s all coming together.”
He said it shows Synergy’s local commitment to the community.
“Our members will be proud of the new building and what it means to the downtown and the city of Lloydminster,” he said.
The building will bring together about 82 employees from three locations under one roof including their Member Contact Call Centre that were on site early.
Synergy will keep its downtown location, but is seeking to lease the 18,000 sq. ft. main floor vacated by their retail banking division.
Facilities manager Randy Glynn said the company is aiming to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification with the new building.
Some of the LEED features are adjustable office walls and flooring and a state of the art mechanical and control room.
The building is 47 per cent more energy efficient than similar size buildings with lots of natural light.           
A 30 ft. high waterfall feature in the main lobby helps to dampen noise and provide humidity when needed.
“You step inside the door and there’s that wow factor,” said Glynn who also pointed to a sweeping stairwell to the second level.
There are also eight digital displays in the building and lots of natural light to conserve energy.
“Our members are going to be very proud of the building,” said Glynn.

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