The sun was shining on Cottage Grove on Monday afternoon.
With dozens of people in attendance, village officials joined Summit Credit Union officials to break ground on their massive new headquarters that will serve as a new anchor for the community at Interstate 94 and Highway N.
“We’re proud to locate our headquarters in Cottage Grove, along the I-94 corridor, connecting our 33 locations around southcentral Wisconsin,” said John Litscher, chairman of the credit union board of directors.
The six-story, 90-foot-tall building will encompass197,140 square feet. Along with the land surrounding it, the building will feature a variety of features benefiting those who work there.
“This building will bring us together in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Kim Sponem, president and CEO of Summit Credit Union. “It will provide us a much more collaborative work environment, which really reflects our culture at Summit, and also more of a fun work environment with a lot of wellness pieces.”
Some of those features include a fitness center with equipment and classes, a green roof, walking trails, a celebration room, an outdoor volleyball court and a cafeteria with sustainable-type and other healthy foods.
“On behalf of the village, we’re all thrilled to welcome Summit Credit Union to Cottage Grove,” Village Administrator Matt Giese said. “Your new headquarters project is a total home run for both the local economy and the village itself. This project is actually largest project by projected property value in the village’s 90-plus year history.”
Sponem, who lives in the village, thanked the elected and appointed officials for their efforts.
“They were really great to work with,” she said. “They had a very diligent process – they certainly weren’t pushovers – a very diligent process and a very professional process for us to go through.”
Mike Millage, president of the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce, said he understands the attitude of Summit Credit Union based on his contacts with the firm. Melanie Rulas, who works at the credit union’s branch on Cottage Grove Road between Cottage Grove and Monona, is a longtime member of the chamber.
Litscher said the process of selecting a home for the credit union’s headquarters began more than four years ago. Most of the corporate offices are located in a building on American Parkway in Madison, but other offices are scattered among half a dozen other branches in the Madison area.
“When the opportunity came up to be located here, we knew it was the right place for Summit,” Litscher said. “We needed a location that could grow with us and a community that would support our 250 employees that will be located here on the day of opening.”
In the past five years, Summit’s assets have increased 55 percent, from $1.9 billion to $2.9 billion. Also, 158 jobs have been added, bringing the total to 515. Litscher said those numbers will continue to grow.
In addition to the corporate headquarters, the Cottage Grove site will also be the site where the credit union’s mortgage and small-business lending operations will be located.
A branch office and drive-thru for all customers will also be part of the building.
Sponem also noted that the office building will provide a training center for staff, and the ease of access from I-94 will be ideal for those coming from branches in communities such as Milwaukee, Beaver Dam and Portage.
Finally, the 11-acre site is large enough to accommodate future growth.