The coronavirus caused dramatic changes in all industries and across the globe. Millions of people, WBA staff included, worked from home for the first time during March and April, and many companies (the association and its member banks included) adjusted operations in order to address new challenges caused by social distancing and health safety concerns. 

At the same time, WBA's building continued its own dramatic change-a top-to-bottom renovation that is nearly complete (at the time of this writing). 

Once finished, the new building will host hundreds of member bankers throughout the year in the Engagement Center and offer technology-enabled meeting rooms, a beautiful new café, and modern workstations for staff. The remodeled space also features an Honor Wall recognizing the past achievements and dedication of Wisconsin bankers.

"This renovation is about looking forward, for WBA and Wisconsin's banking industry," said WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels. The goal of the new space is to create a tangible experience of the connection between members and their association. Here's how the transformation unfolded:

Timeline: 

Oct. 4, 2018
WBA Board of Directors votes to proceed with the building remodel project. 

October 2018
WBA staff make "wish lists" for office building improvements.

February 2019
WBA and Findorff release RFP to architecture firms and begin vendor selection process.

May 6, 2019
WBA selects Aro Eberle as the project architect. 

May 29, 2019
WBA's internal staff Remodel Committee meets for the first time to discuss goals and brainstorm ideas.

May 30, 2019
Kick-off meeting with Aro Eberle and the Remodel Committee. Over the next two months, the group discussed everything from flooring and lighting options to sound control. Staff even went on two "field trips" to visit furniture vendors in order to try out options in person.

Aug. 25, 2019
Staff on the ground floor are all moved out. Furniture and cube removal begins in preparation for Demo Day.

Sept. 16, 2019
Construction (or rather, demolition) begins! Some staff even got to help take out a wall!

Oct. 7, 2019
Demo in the basement cafeteria is completed, including removing two walls:

Dec. 4, 2019
New cabinets and paint are finished in the basement Café.

Jan. 9, 2020
Demo begins on the second floor and Café flooring is underway.

Feb. 12, 2020
WBA holds its first-ever Staff Meeting in the Wisconsin Room in the newly finished Engagement Center. The Training Lounge and Café are also completed.

Feb. 17, 2020
Oswald Poels welcomes the first group of bankers (Residential Mortgage Lending School) to the Engagement Center! 

Feb. 28, 2020
Demo continues on the ground floor as the lobby, boardroom, and two conference rooms are transformed.

April 8, 2020
Even with almost all staff working remotely due to the coronavirus, glass walls are installed in the ground-floor offices, the front desk is nearly complete, and cubicles are assembled on the second floor, waiting for staff to return!

May 1, 2020
Estimated Projected Completion Date

Watch your email for an invitation later this summer or fall to an open house. We look forward to showing you your new space!