Construction of new bank branch in Seligman begins

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri board directors, bank officials and members of the Seligman community gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at the bank's new branch location in Seligman on March 8.

"We're looking forward to coming to Seligman," said Stan Kelley, Freedom Bank president. "We saw southern Barry County was growing, and our board felt it was a great opportunity to be a part of Seligman."

Lonnie McCullough, Jr., who will serve as president of the Seligman location, unveiled an architectural rendering and floor plan of the proposed Seligman branch facility at the Seligman City Council meeting on Jan. 9.

The Freedom Bank Seligman branch, which will be located at the corner of Highway 37 and Doc Meyer Road on the southern edge of Seligman, will be a 3,500-square-foot, full-service banking facility.

"The entrance and exit from the bank will be off of Doc Meyer Road," said McCullough. "It will also have three drive-through lanes and an ATM. It will be a smaller version of the bank in Cassville."

John Waggoner, of Golden, has been selected as the project architect, and Danny Street, of Shell Knob, will serve as the project manager.

"It will be a very nice facility," said Kelley. "We think the Seligman community will be pleased with what we are doing."

The project will begin this month. Current plans reflect a Sept. 1 completion date. The facility will employ five full-time employees.

"In Cassville we have been able to add employees every three to six months," said Kelley. "We hope to do that in Seligman also."

Freedom Bank, a locally owned and managed bank, received approval for the Seligman branch from the FDIC and Missouri Division of Finance in October of 2005.

The Cassville-based bank has experienced an increase in its current customer base from the the Seligman and Washburn communities over the last three years, said Kelley. Freedom Bank officials also hope to serve customers traveling to northwest Arkansas for work and shopping.

"We think it's great," said James Cruse, Seligman Chamber of Commerce president. "We hope it will produce more jobs and help us grow more. We're really looking forward to construction."

The new Seligman branch of Freedom Bank will offer citizens a wide variety of loan and deposit products similar to the financial features offered at the bank in Cassville.

Freedom Bank, which opened in November of 1999, is based at 97 S. Main St. in Cassville. The Seligman location will be Freedom's first branch bank.

The Freedom Bank Board of Directors includes: Mike Ball, Truman Baker, Herschel Stehlik, Terry DeGraffenreid, Marvin Phipps, Mike Carr and Kelley.

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