Community members and city officials gathered during a chilly morning Friday to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the newest Community National Bank & Trust location at 701 Merchant St.

“We are just so thrilled about this project,” said CNB Emporia President Carla Barnett. “We love Emporia and we couldn’t be more excited about having a new banking facility open here in the summer of 2020. There are so many great projects going on here at this time. You don’t have to look very far around our downtown to see the progress that has been made in recent years. I know when I moved here to attend ESU in the early 90s, looking around this area gave you a much different view than what you see today.”

Barnett went on to thank the City of Emporia, Emporia Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce as well as BG Consultants, which plans to utilize local contractors in the construction of the project. Although there’s still much to be determined about the new bank, Barnett said the location would also utilize art from local creators to fit in with the updated aesthetic of other buildings in the area.

“We really want to contribute with this seven-figure investment in downtown Emporia and we look forward to our future here,” Barnett said. “Being able to provide a facility for our staff and our customers that’s welcoming to conduct their business transactions in is fun to think about.”

CNB President and CEO Dan Mildfelt was also in attendance, echoing Barnett’s remarks about how much Empora had developed and improved over the years. He said the idea behind the new facility was customer-driven, and hoped the bank would be able to provide for members of the community in the decades to come.

“It’s really just incredible to look at the renaissance that’s happened in Emporia over the last 25 years and it’s amazing to look at the beautiful new buildings, the lofts, the construction and the renovations,” Mildfelt said. “It’s a pleasure to be a part of that … Emporia is such a great community and we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve your farmers and ranchers, your manufacturing companies, your real estate developers and your business owners … Our board of directors and our whole bank organization just loves to be able to make this commitment to Emporia.

“We look forward to working hard for all of you, and it’s going to be pleasure to use local electricians, local plumbers, local heating and air conditioning companies and everyone else that can share in bringing this project to Emporia.”

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