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Project at a Glance

Industry: Financial Institutions
Services: General Contracting, Construction Management
Size: 2700 SF
Owner: State Employees Credit Union
Architect: Chambers

First Place Winner of the 2013 Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders & Contractors – Baltimore Metro Chapter


The SECU UMCP project is a 2,650 square foot state-of-the-art SECU Financial Center.  As with any project, there were challenges during construction.  With the base building being an 11-story student residence facility and the tenants on both sides being restaurants, there was a major concern with construction noise, schedules, dust, and student safety.  Another challenge was to remove and reroute a portion of an active sewer line serving the hundreds of students in the occupied building.  Installing the roof top HVAC unit with a crane was a challenge due to the close proximity of power lines, heavy traffic adjacent to the building, and the ever present and curious student population.

However, the biggest challenge came several weeks into the project when Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group was asked to value engineer the project to reduce costs by a significant amount.  Selections had already been made and construction had started, but Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group faced this challenge willingly.


Work was scheduled around sensitive times, and materials and equipment were moved and stored with special attention to safety and non-access to students.  Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group takes pride in the well-organized plan for rerouting a portion of the active sewer line, which was done with minimal “mess”, as well as the successful installation of the rooftop HVAC unit by use of the crane that was completed with no issues.

Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group’s team evaluated every aspect of the job for savings, from the architectural finishes to the type of lighting, and was able to reduce costs by a considerable amount, while still maintaining the original finish date. 

This project was a cooperative effort between the SECU design team, the owner, and Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group to achieve the maximum benefit for SECU members, maintain the SECU brand, and promote efficiency.  Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts Group’s extensive experience with construction of financial institutions was used to help with the general design, security and equipment design, and the most efficient use of subcontractors and vendors to finish the project with a savings over the original budget projections.


The branch has a 24-hour accessible lobby that includes an Internet banking station and a technology station with stools and charging outlets for use with laptops or tablets.  Both sides of the oval lobby are lined with member banking options, including ATMs and cutting edge Interactive Teller Machines, where members interact with live tellers through video banking technology.  There is also an exterior walk-up ATM to accommodate the needs of college students and the community.

A 22-foot wide overhead coiling door separates the 24-hour lobby from the rest of the facility after normal business hours.  A learning center with an automatically retractable ceiling mounted projector and screen is available for financial related training sessions for both students and community. The lobby design features a greeting station, a concierge desk, and open Member Advisor offices for member services, all highlighted by metallic perforated “Clouds” and suspended “Halo” rings for aesthetic and sound control features.  Interior glass wall systems were used between private office and lobby areas for an open feeling, as well as allowing the manager a clear view of the member area.  A seventy-inch plasma screen was installed at the front windows facing outward to stream 24-hour marketing messages to the public.  The innovative design is reflective of SECU’s brand, focusing on member service, convenience, and efficiency.

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