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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – A local institution in Northwest Alabama is consolidating its operations at one facility…and the site has significant history for the region, too.

Bank Independent announced plans Thursday for a 95,000-square-foot operations center on 50 acres of land off Reservation Road in Muscle Shoals. The more than $60 million facility will consolidate employees currently spread across five different buildings across the Shoals area.

“It’s especially noteworthy that we are building on the ground of the original TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) where Presidents (Franklin) Roosevelt and (John F.) Kennedy came to recognize our community’s monumental contribution to electrifying the entire Tennessee Valley.”  

Bank Independent President Macke Mauldin

The four-floor building will sit on a high point of the site, providing employees with a view of a meadow to the east and a forest to the west. Employees will park on the west (forest) side of the building, with exiting trees being utilized for shade. The west parking lot will be connected to a two-story lobby via a covered walkway. The lobby will extend throughout the building, with elevators, stairs, and restrooms aplenty.

  • The west entrance to Bank Independent's new operations center, on the original TVA site in Muscle Shoals, will overlook a forest. (Photo courtesy Bank Independent)
  • The east entrance to Bank Independent's new operations center, on the original TVA site in Muscle Shoals, will overlook a meadow. (Photo courtesy Bank Independent)

These aren’t the only amenities planned for the building.

It will include training rooms, a medical response area, a wellness room, a fitness center, and a conferencing center served by catering, team member café and private dining and kitchen. The new facility will also include a Bank Independent Museum that will honor the legacy of the thousands of team members who have served the bank over the past 75 years with over 25 million hours of service. We look forward to this facility enhancing our reputation as the employer of choice for the next 75 years.

Bank Independent CEO Rick Wardlaw

The building will feature LED lights suspended from a structure above with minimal suspended ceilings, an HVAC system powered by chillers and an underfloor distribution system, as well as floor plates designed to allow natural light to penetrate deep into the building. Corporate office spaces will have unmountable glass walls and specially designed furniture allowing for maximum flexibility in future office arrangments.

Officials said this isn’t the first time Bank Independent has built a facility like this.

We built a similar facility on a smaller scale for our subsidiary company, Interstate Billing Service, in Decatur back in 2016. That investment has more than paid off in the efficiencies we have gained from a quality work environment that facilitates collaboration and promotes the wellbeing of our team.

Bank Independent President Macke Mauldin

Bank Independent expects to break ground on the facility next spring, with completion planned for spring 2025. Calvin Durham of Florence-based Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture, LLC is the lead architect, in association with Birmingham-based KPS Group, Inc. Birmingham-based Robins & Morton will be the general contractor for the project.