FAIRMONT - The Bank Midwest building on State Street in Fairmont is 45 percent complete, with interior work to continue through the winter.
Thanks to mild temperatures, construction workers were able to get the building weather tight last month, so the facility is now heated and work inside is under way, according to Tom Lytle, Bank Midwest market president.
"June 1, 2013, we should be fulled moved in to our new facility," Lytle said.
TAKING?SHAPE?— The Bank Midwest building is seen on State Street in Fairmont. Interior work will continue through the winter.
The site is located in a high traffic area for Fairmont, giving an easy view of the progress.
"The public is really noticing the different rooflines," Lytle said. "We're trying to create a lot of natural light in this building ... with a completely different layout than a traditional bank."
The end result, he hopes, will be an environment that is warm and welcoming for visitors and employees. The building will closely resemble the company's new facility in Jackson.
"We're trying to create an atmosphere that is very similar for customers, whether they're in Jackson, Windom, Spirit Lake or Fairmont," Lytle said.
In the meantime, work is taking place on the bank's current location on Downtown Plaza. The company is cleaning house in preparation for the move across town, by literally cleaning and taking inventory of the equipment and furniture that won't make the move. Many of those items have been donated to STEP and the Kinship mentoring program for its spring auction fund-raiser.
Fairmont Farmers Mutual Insurance is making some improvements to the space as well. The insurance company purchased the building in October 2011 and has been leasing it back to Bank Midwest. After the bank transitions to its new facility, Fairmont Farmers will move in.
"They've tuckpointed all the existing brickwork and made HVAC improvements, and they'll do more after we leave," said Lytle, noting the partnership has been beneficial for both companies.
Before opening the doors at its new site, the bank will perform test runs to make sure the computers and other operations run smoothly.
"We'll shut the door on a Friday, and probably close for Saturday ... and Sunday," Lytle said. "Then Monday we'll be open at our new location."
It won't be an easy task, but he's optimistic.
"We think we can do it," he said with a smile.