Benchmark plans branch move

Published 9:01 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

Benchmark Community Bank has announced that it will renovate the building at 204 S. Broad St. in Kenbridge, which it purchased late in 2014 from BB&T, and moving its branch operation to that location later this year.

Kenbridge Construction Co. will handle the renovations, which will encompass 4,500-square-feet of the 7,800-square-foot building. Work is scheduled to begin in April.

Changes to the building, which was built in 1970, will include a new façade and lighting for the Broad Street entrance, an expansion of the drive-up area at the rear of the building to accommodate a drive-up ATM and extensive interior improvements. The modification plans have been developed by Baskervill, a leading Richmond architectural firm. The same firm designed new Benchmark branches in South Hill (2010) and Clarksville (2012) and developed plans for the renovation of the bank’s Lawrenceville branch in 2011.

The prevailing style, and many of the same features and materials used in the other Baskervill designs, will be reflected in the Kenbridge renovations. Stone used on the main entrance façade will be similar to that on the bank’s headquarters building at 100 Broad.

When the renovations at 204 S. Broad are complete and a branch there is fully operational — expected to be October of this year — the bank will close the branch at 100 S. Broad. The building there will remain the administrative headquarters for Benchmark.

Areas currently used as a branch will become additional office and meeting space for the growing financial institution, which now employs over 150 people.

President and CEO Mike Walker explained the decision to move, stating, “We have long had the desire to have a branch in Kenbridge where the lobby and the drive-up could be together. For years, we have managed with the drive-up across the parking lot — and could have continued — but when the opportunity to combine the two came up, we had no trouble deciding to make the change. Once the improvements are made, the new location will, without a doubt, be better for both our customers and the Kenbridge branch staff.”