Service Credit Union opens office building

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch and Service Credit Union President and CEO Gordon Simmons, view the landscape from the roof top deck as part of a building tour of the newly opened Service Credit Union Corporate Offices on Lafayette Road in Hampton Friday. Rich Beauchesne photo Rich Beauchesne/rbeauchesne@seac «; aryZooms[imgCounter] = «javascript: NewWindow(870,625,window.document.location+zTemplate+’&img=»+imgCounter+»‘)»; var ap = /AP/.test(«Rich Beauchesne/rbeauchesne@seac»); var courtesy = /COURTESY/.test(«RICH BEAUCHESNE/RBEAUCHESNE@SEAC»); var nfs = /NFS/.test(«RICH BEAUCHESNE/RBEAUCHESNE@SEAC»); if (ap==true || courtesy==true || nfs==true || «Rich Beauchesne/rbeauchesne@seac»==»»){ document.getElementById(‘purchasePhoto’).style.display = «none»; } bolImages=true;

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PORTSMOUTH — Upon the opening of the organization’s new corporate office building, Gov. John Lynch issued a proclamation declaring Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, Service Credit Union Day for New Hampshire.

The building, which is located at 3003 Lafayette Road, is four stories high and has 100,000 square feet. It features a modern design that’s eco-friendly, promotes community and provides a healthy and productive working environment, said Service Credit Union President and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Simmons.

«We’re here to celebrate more than just a building project, but a world-class organization dedicating a gateway to the community,» said Simmons at the building’s grand opening, an event attended by dignitaries including Lynch and Portsmouth mayor Eric Spear.

«Your decision to stay in Portsmouth is good news for everyone on the Seacoast,» said Spear, citing the jobs and wealth the new location will bring to the city. With the building came 60 new jobs, and Simmons said he hopes to add at least 60 more over the next five years. The offices currently house more than 100 employees.

The building includes a 24/7 live-person contact center, a museum dedicated to the credit union’s history and conference rooms that may be used by the city government and community or nonprofit organizations.

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Eco-friendly design elements include geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels used to heat water, and a light-colored roof that reflects sunlight. According to Simmons, the building uses 36 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than the average office building and emits 63 percent less carbon dioxide. The building is certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an internationally recognized green building program.

«We saw it as a kind of iconic building that would become a symbol for its 168,000 members around the world,» said Graham Gund, president of Gund Partnership of Cambridge, Mass., the architectural firm that designed the building.

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The building’s opening ceremony included the dedication of a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years, featuring objects contributed by Service Credit Union, the town of Portsmouth and military organizations.

Before it was purchased by Service Credit Union, the land the building is on was a truck salvage yard. The credit union’s previous corporate offices were in a 19,000-square-foot building at 2010 Lafayette Road.

Service Credit Union was founded in 1957 and is now the state’s largest credit union, with branches in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Germany. In addition to local civilians, it is also open to all branches of the United States military and Department of Defense employees and their families.

Service Credit Union will offer free tours of the corporate offices on Saturday, Oct. 13, and Sunday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visitors can download a self-guided tour on their smartphones or use MP3 players available at the building.

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