An artistic rendition of a new Machias Savings Bank building planned as part of a $5 million expansion of the bank's Machias headquarters. Credit: Courtesy of Machias Savings Bank

A statewide bank that calls Machias home began work Monday on a new project to expand its headquarters.

The $5 million project by Machias Savings Bank will result in a new building that includes a fitness center, meeting spaces, flexible working spaces and a cafeteria-style open eating area for its employees, bank officials said Monday. The new facility at 31 Main St. will be constructed overlooking the Machias River, just a few doors down from the bank’s existing main office.

Larry Barker, president of the bank, said the expansion will give the bank the capacity to add another 50 employees over the next decade. Machias Savings Bank has approximately 280 employees, of whom roughly 130 work in Machias.

A landscaped space behind the new building that will lead down to the river’s edge will be open to the public, bank officials said.

“This bank has had a commitment to growth for years and that growth benefited me 28 years ago when I was raking blueberries, detailing cars, washing dishes and working at the motel,” Barker said. “I was fortunate to be able to start a career at the bank and we’re excited to be offering that same opportunity to many others as we continue to grow.”

A group including bank executives and employees, town officials, and members of the local business community attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the project Monday. The expansion comes as the bank, which was founded in 1869, celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The new facility is expected to open in 2020.

Machias Savings Bank, with $1.5 billion in assets, has 16 branches throughout the state stretching from Caribou to Portland, bank officials said. It is currently the second largest mutual savings bank in Maine, they said.

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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....