Unveiling the new look

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
(Sentinel Photos by Kim Fickett) The exterior of Northwest Bank may not have changed much, but the interior has taken on a whole new look thanks to the recent renovation of the downtown Le Mars location. After more than 28 years of not receiving any updates, patrons will be pleasantly surprised when they now step through the bank’s doors.

LE MARS — The ribbon will officially be cut on the grand reopening of Northwest Bank at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16, during a Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce coffee.

After six months of not being in the downtown location, Northwest Bank staff spent four days hustling and bustling in mid-July to get ready for the big reveal.

“We had people waiting at the front door for us to open,” Northwest Bank President Kevin Eekhoff said of the first day the bank reopened following the remodel. “The plan was for it to be done by Aug. 1 but instead it took six months and two weeks and we were able to be back in the building.”

The complete demolition of the bank’s first and second floors began on Jan. 3.

“Our footprint of the building didn’t change but everything inside the building has,” Eekhoff said.

Those changes include a complete overhaul with everything except the north wall.

“The bank hadn’t been remodeled for over 28 years. It was well overdue,” Eekhoff said. “As you walk in the door you see the brightness of the lobby and some of the dark colors we had before are now freshened and brightened up.

From the replacement of all the bank’s doors and windows, to the installation of a new ceiling, carpet and new LED lighting, to the addition of an ADA accessible bathroom on the main floor, to new furnishings, paint and tile, patrons are sure to be taken back when they walk through the doors of the new space.

Two digital walls will greet customers as they first enter the doorways.

“The first one is a history wall of Northwest Bank and the second one is a marketing wall on the north wall. TV’s are on each wall showing markets and so forth,” Eekhoff explained of the new features.

“We also have a new drive up window in the southwest corner of the bank, as well as relocated our teller lines from the southwest to the same corner as the drive up lane so our tellers could serve both,” Eekhoff shared.

Another welcome addition to the bank was that of more office space.

“We started with five offices and now we have 11, a conference room, as well as the addition of a bathroom on the main floor which we never had before,” Eekhoff said.

The upstairs also saw the break room, three bathrooms, one office space, boardroom and a storage area updated.

Instead of electing to stay on site throughout the construction, Eekhoff and his team relocated to the bank’s former south branch of Business Highway 75.

“The advantage of moving out to our south bank gave our contractors the ability to complete our remodel in six months compared to 14 months if we would have stayed in our downtown location while construction was being completed,” Eekhoff said.

Schelling Construction of Sioux Center was the project’s general contractor with several other subcontractors a part of the project.

“I want to thank the staff for everything we went through to move everything off the main floor and move it either into storage or out to south bank. A big kudos to the staff for getting this thing done. We also want to thank our customers for their patience while we were under construction and for the inconvenience of some of going to south bank. Now that we’re back here, we appreciate them coming into the new facility. We thank all the contractors, they did a fantastic job keeping this project on task and on time,” Eekhoff noted.

“It’s nice to get the whole staff back in the same building again. We’re happy to be back downtown.”

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