UI Credit Union to add new location

By Andrea Cheng

The long line of University of Illinois Employees Credit Union (UIECU) members stretching down the corridor of the Illini Union during the day is not an uncommon sight. To remedy this growing concern, the UIECU Board of Directors approved an expansion which will open a new branch in Gateway Shoppes at Five Points in Urbana, at the intersection of University and Cunningham Avenues.

The goal of the expansion is to reduce the inconvenience and inaccessibility that many members have experienced.

Greg Anderson, executive vice president for the UIECU, said they closed the deal immediately after the first week of January after spending the majority of 2006 identifying the situation and site.

The main office is currently located southwest of the main campus and, by providing an additional office on the northeastern section of town, a balance as far as accessibility will be achieved. UIECU now owns the property of the former O’Brien Auto Park, 104 E. University Ave., which will become the home for the new branch.

“We have a lot of members that currently live in Urbana,” Anderson said. “Being on University Avenue will serve existing members in Urbana and is also a high traffic corridor, providing lots of visibility and access.”

Chuck Rutan, UIECU president, acknowledges the inconvenience of their existing location at the Illini Union especially since UIECU serves not only students, but the local telecommunications community and anyone who lives or works within Champaign County.

“The fact is that we’re outgrowing the existing location,” Rutan said. “The campus is hard to get around. Our expectations are to be more convenient for our members and improve services, make it less busy, less crowded.”

Anderson expects the expansion will better serve the current members, specifically to those who live and work in Urbana. Anderson adds that the Illini Union is limited because of space. The new facility is expected to have full member service, a lending function, teller services, mortgage operation and a 24-hour ATM.

Anderson is also anticipating the number of members to grow as well. Since 1996, assets and number of members have doubled.

“We are owned by members, driven by how we can best serve them,” Anderson said. “Our long-term goal is to be the most trusted provider of financial services.”

Rutan plans on eventually having locations in Champaign as well, but for now the board and staff are very excited about this opportunity. The project will begin in the spring and is expected to finish by year’s end.

“We’re very excited and we’re looking forward to the expansion,” said Carrie Malloch, Illini Union branch manager, speaking on behalf of the staff.