RUMFORD —  Early Friday afternoon, Diane Perry reviewed plans in her office for an upcoming expansion of Franklin Savings Bank’s Rumford branch.

Perry is a vice president for the bank and branch manager in Rumford and Mexico.

The bank will consolidate its Mexico branch and employees into the Rumford branch and close the Mexico location, she said.

The changeover is planned for May 5, with construction taking place throughout the summer and an open house to be held in the fall.

“The thing of it is, the branches have done well together,” Perry said. “You know, I think there’s speculation (about the consolidation) that that must mean, ‘Oh, the bank isn’t doing well,’ but we’re busier than ever, literally.”

The Rumford branch opened in 1968 and renovated and expanded in the 1990s. The Mexico branch opened in 1975 to handle the increasing volume of customers when the population of the towns was greater than it is now, she said.

“The Rumford branch was growing quite rapidly,” she said. “Now, with the Mexico branch only eight-tenths of a mile away, it made sense for us to only grow in one location. So, we’re in the same position: We’re growing in loans and deposits.”

Perry said her decision to consolidate the Mexico branch into the Rumford branch was done because the Rumford branch “really needs to be renovated.”

“When you do something like that you need to think about, ‘Do we need extra space?’ And yes, we do, so we’re expanding over here,” Perry said.

Four employees from the Mexico branch will join 12 employees at the Rumford branch. No jobs will be lost because of the consolidation and expansion, Perry said.

She said the Rumford bank is Franklin Savings Bank’s busiest branch outside Farmington, where the bank’s main office is located.

Franklin Savings Bank also has branches in Wilton, Jay, Rangeley and Skowhegan, a seasonal branch inside Mount Blue High School in Farmington for training purposes, and Western Mountain Financial Services in Farmington.

Perry said the bank’s lending area includes Oxford, Franklin, Androscoggin, Kennebec and Somerset counties. She said Franklin Savings Bank has been serving Western Maine for 146 years.

Engineers are working out details for the Rumford branch expansion of about 540 square feet, renovation and redesign of the interior and office spaces, Perry said. They have yet to take the project before the Rumford Planning Board for approval. And project costs have yet to be determined.

The expansion will add two offices and a conference room and the renovation will redesign entrances so that they’re straight on for security reasons, instead of short hallways around blind corners.

One entrance is expected to be placed on the Congress Street side opposite Dunkin’ Donuts. The other will be off Route 2 opposite Rite-Aid Pharmacy.

Customers who use the Mexico branch will not have to do anything different and their account numbers will not change, Perry said.

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