cPort's 285 Forest Avenue Branch in Portland is Now Open!
Claude Rwaganje, Executive Director of Community Financial Literacy; Patty Gratto, Assistant Branch Manager, Mayor of Portland Michael Brennan; cPort CEO Gene Ardito; Russ Lumley, Branch Manager
cut the ribbon for the new branch.
cPort Credit Union celebrated the opening of its new branch at 285 Forest Avenue with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in an after-hours reception at the branch. The ceremony was attended by Portland’s Mayor Michael Brennan and City of Portland staff who worked on the permitting and approval process, cPort management and Board of Directors, cPort’s community partners, and the architects and building team for the branch’s construction.
cPort Credit Union’s new branch location at 285 Forest Avenue in Portland opened on Monday, July 16, 2012. cPort has had a Portland presence since its founding as the Federal Employees Credit Union of Maine in 1931 at the post office building at 125 Forest Avenue. The new branch employs 8 full time staff growing cPort’s total staff to 50 employees in 4 locations in Portland, Scarborough, and Augusta.
“We’ve been Portland-based since 1931, and being local is very important to us,” said cPort’s President & CEO, Gene Ardito in his remarks. “Our decision makers are locally based, including our Board of Directors, as are the vendors we chose to work with in building this branch.”
In his remarks, Ardito also emphasized the importance of one of cPort’s core values, “Community.” In the spirit of cPort’s commitment to the communities it serves, Ardito presented a $500 donation to Portland School District’s Wellness Program. Riverton Elementary Principal Jeanne Malia and Ocean Avenue Elementary Principal Beverly Coursey accepted the donation on behalf of the schools. cPort sponsors its College Aspirations Scholarship Program at each school. Ardito also presented a $500 donation to Community Financial Literacy, accepted by the organization’s Executive Director Claude Rwaganje. CFL promotes financial literacy for Maine’s immigrant and refugee communities.
Ardito also explained that the unique design of the building evokes both cPort’s rich history and focus on the future. Reflecting cPort’s founding in 1931, the molded, water struck bricks used to build the branch are those that would have typically been installed in the 1930’s. The contrasting metal paneling on the building symbolizes cPort’s commitment to leading edge technology as the credit union evolves to best meet the needs of its members.
The branch features two entrances, a front entrance on Forest Avenue for pedestrian traffic and a rear door for access from the parking lot. The interior branch design incorporates a “pod-style” transaction system in lieu of a traditional-style teller line to help promote efficiency and flow. A comfortable waiting area welcomes members with cPort’s customary coffee and water station, and ice cream cooler.
cPort hired local architects Gawron Turgeon and local construction firm Landry French to design and build the new location after working with both on its Augusta location at 399 Western Avenue in 2010. The entire project focused on using local subcontractors and vendors from the masonry on the exterior of the branch to the coffee served inside.
Set close to Forest Avenue and accessed easily by pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the building was designed for safe, easy travel by foot, bicycle, car, and bus.
The branch also features a Community Conference Room which will be available to nonprofit and community groups to use for meetings and events after hours. “Community” is one of cPort Credit Union’s core values, and cPort is proud to offer this resource to the nonprofits and groups working to improve and enrich the Greater Portland area.
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