Published on Thu, Dec 1, 2005 by Jack Kintner

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Welcome, WECU

By Jack Kintner

The former Dairy Queen on H Street, next to the Cost Cutter Grocery, has become Blaine’s first credit union. The old drive-in opened on Tuesday, November 29, as the newest branch of the Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU).

The garish red and white colors have been replaced and the black fence and brick pillars are gone. “There’s not much left of the original,” said Nancy Keel, the new branch manager, “since we pretty much gutted it.” Keel, who managed the Barkley Village branch before coming to Blaine, is a 22-year employee. She supervises a staff of six.

WECU bought the 2,900 square foot building in August of 2003 and hired Pearson Construction of Bellingham to renovate what is now their ninth branch. “We have between 1,200 and 1,500 members in the immediate area, and they have been asking for this,” Keel said, “So here we are.”

The largest credit union in the county with assets of almost $385 million, WECU began in 1936 as the Bellingham Teachers’ Credit Union. Three years ago its charter was expanded to include “anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the county,” said Keel.

Hours for the new facility’s lobby and drive-up window are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.