Officials break ground on new Redstone Federal Credit Union branch in downtown Huntsville
HUNTSVILLE — Redstone Federal Credit Union had plenty to celebrate Nov. 28 at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new branch in downtown Huntsville that will allow the company to continue expanding its reach in North Alabama.
The construction comes shortly after RFCU surpassed 400,000 members. According to information from Public Relations Coordinator Patricia Lloyd, the new branch will consist of a nearly 67,000-square-foot building with an adjoining parking deck. Features will include a “community room,” rooftop terrace and multi-tenant lease space.
Construction on the new location is expected to open by fall 2020.
In a news release, KPS Group architect Kristine Harding said the building “will bring something new to downtown Huntsville.”
“Many of the downtown buildings have lots of brick and look more traditional,” she said. “This design of glass and metal panels give the building a more fresh and cutting-edge look.”
The release also indicated that the branch’s “open, flexible” design will feature space that can be configured for a wide variety of purposes. In addition, the parking deck will have solar panels installed on the roof to power the parking deck’s lights, as well as the outdoor perimeter lights.
Gary Bolton, the 2018 chairman of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, commented on the day’s beautiful weather before expressing his excitement about building a new RFCU branch in town, calling the company a “great community partner.”
“When I say great, I mean it,” Bolton said. “They have more than two dozen branches across North Alabama and two more under construction, including this one.” In addition, Bolton acknowledged RFCU’s four school branches, which aim to help students learn how to start saving their money.
Through its work in the community, which includes supporting nonprofits across the Tennessee Valley, RFCU was recognized this year with a Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama in the area of marketplace ethics.
“You guys have a tremendous team and superb support, so you should all be very, very proud of everything you’ve accomplished,” Bolton told the RFCU team at the ceremony.
Joe Newberry, president and CEO of RFCU and immediate past chair of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, spoke on the significance of the day from the perspective of the company and its members.
“We couldn’t have chosen a better day because 67 years ago today, we had 11 people on Redstone Arsenal that signed a document that created Redstone Federal Credit Union, so it’s our birthday today,” Newberry proclaimed.
Newberry played his own role in furthering the legacy of RFCU this year when the Credit Union Executive Society named him “CEO of the Year.” RFCU was also named “Credit Union of the Year” by the Nation Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions.
Newberry also touched on the company’s goal of helping others, whether it be through nonprofits in the community of providing services to their clients. With that, he expressed his gratitude to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, who attended the ceremony, and the Huntsville City Council—in addition to “everybody around Huntsville”—involved in the work in revitalizing the surrounding downtown area.
“They have revitalized this downtown community, which is … important to the citizens, but to the millennials that’s moving here, the businesses moving here, it’s a focal point for this city,” Newberry noted.
He also thanked City Administrator John Hamilton for his hard work in helping RFCU bring a new location to the downtown area.
The new branch will stand on the former site of the Phillips Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the second-oldest African-American church in Huntsville.
Malcolm Thomas, who was chairman of the board of trustees for the church, had heard that RFCU was desirous of a downtown presence and called Newberry to offer an option. In their communication, Newberry learned that the members of the church were willing to sell the land to RFCU.
“I think it’s really, really neat when you think about it because Redstone, if you think about what they were doing all the time about trying to help other people—and we’re sitting right today where that church is—that that’s what we’re all about is still continuing [that idea of] people helping people,” Newberry said.
A few members of the church attended the ceremony Nov. 28, with Thomas offering a prayer following Newberry’s remarks. Newberry said he had offered his own prayer at the groundbreaking of the church’s new location.
“If it had not been for Redstone (Federal Credit Union), we would not be on Winchester Road building a new church, so we’re thankful to the Redstone family for what you have done for the Phillips CME church,” Thomas said in his prayer. He also prayed for blessings on everyone involved in the project and the entire RFCU team.
Given the historic value of the church, Newberry noted that the new RFCU branch will feature a commemorative historic marker.
“We’re going to commemorate that by putting a plaque so future generations will know this was the second-oldest African-American church in Huntsville, Alabama, when this structure gets done,” he said.
Following remarks, local and state officials joined members of the RFCU team to break ground on the project. The groundbreaking for the new branch took place at 200 Davis Circle SW in Huntsville near the site of the new CityCentre at Big Spring development.