A groundbreaking celebration was held on Aug. 23 at the future site for the Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union located on the corner of Scripps Drive and Mercey Springs Road in Los Banos.

The credit union has outgrown its current location and will be expanding its operation to a 6,250 square foot state of the art credit union facility which will include a community and training room. It will feature two drive-up teller lanes and an ATM lane as well as solar carports.

The final permits were completed on Aug.26. Grading will be the next step in the process. Sidewalk improvements will be done as well. It is expected to open in the last quarter of 2023.

The Agrarian style steel framed building design will blend in well with the farming community. Newground is the company that is building the credit union building. With over 100 years in business, they specialize in the planning, designing, constructing and project management of financial institutions.

Thomas White, regional vice president of Newground, will be the project manager. When he was asked about any possible supply chain issues, he said they are very mindful of this and do advance purchase supplies to prevent possible delays. 

Seven Merced school employees looking for a safe and affordable place to save and borrow money, came together to start Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union in 1954.

Robert Wayne, one of the founding seven and manager for 39 years, ran the credit union out of a shoebox in his apartment for the first four years. It has now grown to four full-service brick and mortar branches in Merced County and four student-run branches at Merced, Legrand, Delhi, and Golden Valley high schools.

MSEFCU is the only banking service in Legrand and Delhi. The credit union has grown to assets over $750 million and 46,000 members. 

Nancy Deavours, President and CEO, said she started as a file clerk in 1967 and worked her way up the ranks. She said she is very excited the credit union is putting down roots in the Los Banos area and feels it is an honor and privilege to serve the community.

The credit union’s philosophy is people helping people. The mission is to help members achieve their financial goals by building lifelong relationships within our diverse community, one member at a time, through a wide array of products and services.

One can join the credit union if one is a school employee of Merced and Mariposa counties, kindergarten through high school students in Merced and Mariposa counties, retired school employees from Merced and Mariposa counties, UC Merced employees or students, Merced College employees or students, Merced City employees, McClatchy Publishing employees, one of the credit union’s employees or a spouse of a deceased primary member. 

Sandy Lemas

Sandy Lemas is a longtime resident of Los Banos who has volunteered much of her time to community service. She will be writing a regular column on volunteers and volunteer organizations that help their community.