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First Cahawba expands on Citizens Pkwy

First Cahawba Bank is expanding its operations in Selma with the addition of a new 2,500-square-foot building.

Richard Walters, president and CEO of the bank, said the new building will house a call center for customer service and the bank’s loan operations.

“The idea has been to get our footprint out to the neighboring areas that we feel like would be good business for the bank,” Walter said. “In order to do that, we’ve got to grow the operations side of the bank as well so we can provide support for the new customers that we’re bringing on in those new markets.”

First Cahawba broke ground on a branch in Troy Monday and is expecting to open a branch in Gulf Shores within the next 60 days.

“We’ve had the idea for a while, and it’s always been our goal to grow the bank, but we’ve just made a concerted effort within the last 12 to 18 months to do just that,” Walters said.

He said the bank is also looking at other markets for potential branches.

The bank broke ground on the new building in Selma in late November, and they’re hoping it will be completed by mid-April.

“They broke ground, and within five days there were walls,” Walters said. “It was just incredible to see how much work had been done in a five to seven-day work period.”

The new building is located directly behind the bank’s main office, which is on Citizens Parkway.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to have our shareholder meeting inside that building, and the shareholders can see the benefits of their investment,” Walter said.

“This will always be the hub in Dallas County no matter where the spokes lead out to, but it’s extremely exciting to go from an idea where we had not raised a penny of capital to raising nearly $12 million worth of capital. We’ve been able to turn that $12 million into $13.5 million.”

Walters said there will be seven officers inside the building as well as a conference room. The center of the building will be used for a call center to help customers with issues with their accounts or their debit cards.

“We kind of designed the building to be more or less a call center,” Walters said. “The operations supervisors will round out the offices, but in the middle, we’ve got room for several cubical stations for people that really do the paper pushing. They’ll be able to come and go without the constriction of walls.”

Walters’ office has a view of the new building, so he has been able to keep track of its progress from time to time.

“Not that I have a lot of time to do that, but when I do break away I can just kind of sit up and check out what’s going on,” he said.

The bank recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary in September. Walters said the expansion wasn’t intended to go along with the anniversary. He said they just happened to go hand in hand.

“I think it just kind of worked out that way, and I’m glad it worked out that way because it’s been just a great experience to see what 10 years’ worth of growth will do in that short period of time,” he said. “We went from an idea on a piece of paper to growing it to a $105 million bank in small Dallas County, so that’s very fulfilling.”

Walters said the bank couldn’t have done it without its customers, employees and shareholders.

“I just want to thank our employees that have been with us since the beginning and especially thank our shareholders who had the dream along with us to take money from their pocket and put it into the bank to get the bank started,” Walters said. “This is more or less of a celebration to them to show them that their money is spent wisely and that investment will come back with big dividends.”