Intrust finishing renovation phase on historic El Dorado building

Intrust Bank is wrapping up the first phase of the renovation of a more-than-a-century-old building it occupies in the center of El Dorado.

It’s an especially important project for Ed Gard, the banker who is overseeing it. Gard began his banking career at the two-story, 14,000-square-foot building at 100 S. Main in 1979. His banker father, Floyd, worked in the same building.

“I can’t even tell you the last time (the building) had any significant renovation,” Ed Gard, Intrust’s community bank president for El Dorado, said Tuesday.

On Thursday, Intrust will host a grand re-opening of the building from 4 to 6 p.m.

But the grand re-opening will mark only the first phase of a renovation that began in January. Gard said there’s still a less-public portion of the building undergoing renovations, which he hopes will be completed before the end of the year.

Walz Harman Huffman is the general contractor and Dwayne Rumsey is the architect.

Gard said the bank needed to do something with the building not just for the sake of renovations but because the number of staff members working there has increased over the years. Gard said about 17 staff members work in the building today and the renovation includes a reconfiguration to accommodate more offices.

Bank officials wouldn’t disclose the cost of the renovations other than it is a “substantial investment.”

Gard said building a new branch could have been an option, but “this location works well for us. It’s right in the center of downtown. It’s an anchor facility.”

The renovation “speaks to the bank’s commitment to downtown and to reinvestment in the core of El Dorado,” he added.

Intrust has occupied the building since 1985, when its holding company acquired the former Citizens State Bank. Citizens State is where Gard and his father worked. He said he doesn’t know exactly what year the building was constructed other than sometime in the 1880s. He said Citizens Bank was established in the building in 1889.

Wichita-based Intrust operates two branches in El Dorado. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., it has the most market share among seven banks doing business in El Dorado, with $99.2 million in deposits.