The credit union formerly known as Tri-Cities Community Federal Credit Union broke ground on its $3 million new headquarters and revealed a spanky new name Wednesday.
The federally chartered credit union is re-branding itself as Tri-CU Credit Union, pronounced “Try-Cue.”
Doug Wadsworth, president, unveiled the new name during ground breaking ceremonies at 19th and Highway 395 on Wednesday. The building will become headquarters for the small but growing credit union, which has outgrown its home on Kennewick Avenue. Construction should be finished next September.
Wadsworth acknowledged “Tri-CU” may not roll off the tongue at first. But he encouraged supporters to give it time.
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“We’re confident it will grow on you!” he said.
The re-brand follows a survey of the credit union’s 5,600 members that showed they love the friendliness of the institution but thought the old name was a bit of a mouthful.
The new name comes with a new logo that marries blue and orange and incorporates sun-like elements in the “C.”
The “CU” element could be taken as a nod to copper and the credit union’s history of serving union electrical workers.
It was founded in 1969 as IBEW #122 Federal Credit Union and became a community credit union serving those who live, work or worship in Benton and Franklin counties in 1985.
Wadsworth said the new building offers welcome relief to an organization that has doubled its assets, loans and staff in the past decade. It is housed in a building leased from IBEW on Kennewick Ave.
The 14-member staff overflows into the basement; customers jockey with patrons of a neighboring pizza joint for its 10 parking spaces.
The 8,300-square-foot new building was designed by Terence L. Thornhill Architect and is being built by DGR Grant Construction. PS Media Inc. advised Tri-CU on its re-branding efforts.
The new building will have 60 parking spots and offer interactive teller pods.
Wadsworth said customer prefer tellers to machines and the credit union doesn’t plan to change its customer experience. The credit union uses cash machines with vaults to manage currency, freeing tellers from cash drawers and the security of a counter. Since tellers can’t easily access cash, robbers have no reason to target the branch.
Once Tri-CU moves to its new offices next year, it will sublease its Kennewick Avenue quarters until its own lease expires in a few years.