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Credit union to invest $32M

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By Chris Sardelli

Founders Federal Credit Union formally unveiled its plans for its new 110,000-square-foot headquarters Thursday.

The three-story building, called the Corporate Center, will be built on a 30-acre parcel of land at Gillsbrook and Plantation roads. The company plans to break ground in November and expects the project to take about 20 months. The project is expected to cost about $32 million.

Plans for the building have been in development for over a year, as Founders, the county and the city of Lancaster have worked to reach an agreement on the new facility.

"It seems all you hear is bad news these days, so I want to share with you some good news," said Bruce Brumfield, president and chief executive officer of Founders Federal. "We've all worked very well together to plan a project that will benefit everyone involved."

Built around a small lake, the new headquarters will be recessed into an existing hillside and will house offices for Founders' call center, accounting, human resources, training, marketing and administrative departments.

There will also be an 8,000-square-foot operations support center built adjacent to the main center as well as an amphitheater for company events.

Brumfield said the campus has plenty of room for future development. A community center or more office space could be built there.

The first phase of the construction will include relocating the old Lancaster Plant clock tower across from the main building.

Brumfield said incorporating the clock tower will remind people how important Springs Mill was to Lancaster and to Founders. The idea of "weaving threads" of steel throughout the architecture of the building is also meant to symbolize Springs.

Lancaster Mayor Joe Shaw said he's pleased that a company as large as Founders is willing to stay in the area where it was founded.

"This is great for our community and county," Shaw said. "When we have prospects for industry, we'll make sure to show them Founders."

Founders now has five buildings across Lancaster, including offices on North Main Street, in the Covenant Building on S. White Street, on the S.C. 9 Bypass, at the Grace Office and in an operations center off U.S. 521.

Founders plans to relocate almost all of its 185 employees to the new buildings and to completely vacate the Covenant Building and Operations Center.

Brumfield expects to add new jobs once Founders moves into its new offices, mentioning a need for more security guards and receptionists.

"To tell you we're very excited is an understatement," Brumfield said. "We've outgrown every building we're in. Now we can pull everybody under one roof which makes us extremely efficient."

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416