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  • Fairbury News staff

Bank renovations underway

(The downtown bank building in Fairbury originally under construction around 100 years ago, via Bank of Pontiac)

A historical bank building in downtown Fairbury is undergoing a multi-phase renovation.

Bluestem Bank, branch of Bank of Pontiac, is renovating the first floor of the structure at 104 East Locust Street.

“We are doing it in two phases,” explains Bank of Pontiac president and CEO Mark Donovan.

Work is underway on phase one which includes the lobby area, so the tellers and loan officers have been relocated to the other side of the building. Three additional offices have been built on the side of the lobby with the teller line to be located in front of the vault – bringing the building up to a full modernization.

“The move has gone well,” said Donovan. “Customers have been very willing to accommodate our surroundings while we begin the project.”

The hope is to have the outside of the building match the inside, while maintaining character with a throwback to yesteryear. Once the first phase is complete in two to three months, the bank will relocate everyone to the newly renovated side and begin phase two for another few months which includes building out offices, moving the break room and creating a conference room.

Donovan said they will end up with an additional four or five offices on the new side of the building.

“The goal, as always, is to reinvest in our communities. Fairbury is a tremendous community and we are very proud to be a part of it,” added Donovan.

Construction work is slightly ahead of schedule so far and the bank is using as many local contractors as possible.

Bank of Pontiac purchased Bluestem National Bank in December 2012, marking over 10 years of being a part of the Fairbury community. Donovan feels they can’t thank their customers enough.

“They’re the reason we can reinvest in this community.”

Prior to Bluestem, the bank was known as National Bank of Fairbury.

(The inside of the current Bluestem Bank is shown in this undated photo from the past, via Bank of Pontiac)

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