Arvest Bank in Gentry, Ark., hosted a grand opening celebration on May 1, 2015, to mark the official end of construction of the location serving downtown Gentry at 320 E. Main St. The more than 100 people attending the festivities also celebrated the dedication of the newly created Gentry Heritage Park.
The new 3,185-square-foot branch nearly doubled the space of the old branch, added a community room, and created an
updated layout and look. The branch cost approximately $1.5 million to build.
It was constructed on the same lot next to the older bank building, which remained open during the construction process. Once the new building was completed, the old building was demolished and the site paved for a new parking lot.
Included in the construction plans was the designation of a small park area near the corner of the lot. The park grew from the community’s desire to preserve the large Sycamore tree that grows on that corner, one of the oldest trees in the downtown area.
“We are so pleased that we were able to respond to the community’s concern for the Sycamore tree,” said Roger Holroyd, President and CEO of Arvest Bank in Siloam Springs, Ark. “We incorporated the tree into the landscaping plan so that it could become a focal point for the town, just as responding to the voices of our customers is a focal point for Arvest.”
Now named the Gentry Heritage Park, Arvest Bank gave the park to the City of Gentry during the dedication ceremony. Future plans are to add a “Welcome To Gentry” sign on the wall in the park, according the City of Gentry website.
As many national and regional banks are abandoning smaller communities or reducing branch services or hours, Arvest Bank has continued to grow and update its branch network.
The building that housed the previous Gentry branch first opened on July 26, 1966, and was originally built as Bratt-Wasson Bank. First National Bank bought Bratt-Wasson, and later, Arvest Bank purchased First National Bank.