The new Utah Community Credit Union Lehi Pointe building, east of the freeway and Thanksgiving Point, is a singular structure shooting into the skyline of Lehi’s tech community.
During Wednesday’s ribbon cutting for the financial center that currently towers alone over its neighbors on Digital Drive, the unique triangular design of the building was oft touched on. Lehi’s Mayor Bert Wilson joked that when he first saw drawings for the building, he thought maybe the designers had taken "a dope trip.”
“But this is really one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve had the opportunity to be in,” he said.
In keeping with UCCU’s 60th anniversary theme at the event of “Building for the Future,” architects behind the project married conventional building practices with forward-looking design principles, said Jeff Sermon, president and CEO of UCCU. The structure’s wall-to-wall glass allows inhabitants a 360-degree view of the valley from almost every vantage point.
“As you look out the windows in any direction, you see a vibrant community,” Sermon said Wednesday, referring to Lehi’s landscape.
Sermon has been with UCCU for 41 years, and he is still surprised that the credit union has grown to this point. He explained when the organization first opened its headquarters at the Stadium branch in Provo, the building had three stories, stairs, and bathrooms on two of the floors. He was sure they’d never be able to fill the building.
When UCCU moved to its current headquarters in the Riverwoods Bottoms of Provo, Sermon was in awe of the building’s three stories, 28,000 square feet, elevator and restrooms on every floor. Again, he thought they’d never fill the building. But today, they have filled it to overflowing. Thus, the need for the new seven-story, 68,000-square-foot financial center.
“I stood before this building for just a minute this morning, and again, I fought off that disproven notion that we’ll never fill it,” he continued. “We will fill this building.”
Sermon said UCCU’s headquarters will remain in Provo, and the new Lehi building will house other tenants, in addition to UCCU’s first-floor branch presence, for now. Rain Agency occupies the seventh floor and Legacy Solar has taken up residence on the sixth floor. Other tenants are in negotiations for the remaining floors. In the distant future, as UCCU’s organization grows, it will move employees into those floors as needed.
“We continue to grow because we stay relevant. Growth isn’t the goal, it’s the by-product,” Sermon said.
UCCU started as BYU Federal Credit Union in 1956, with its first branch just a table on a stair landing in the Harold R. Clark building at Brigham Young University. As the years passed, it outgrew BYU’s confines, and expanded out into the community. As it grew, it went through various name changes, starting in the 1970s — all under the UCCU initials.
The ceremony featured a claw-foot tub, representative of those early beginnings. UCCU’s first bank vault was a claw-foot bathtub that was covered with a sheet of asbestos every night, to protect the cash from fire.
With all modern amenities and banking technology far outpacing those early years, UCCU has certainly grown up.
“We’ve sure come a long way over the past 60 years,” said Sermon. “And we know that our growth and strength is a direct result of our commitment to our ideals as a financial institution that values people over profits.”