Founders Federal Credit Union announces plan to purchase Rock Hill Schools district office

The Rock Hill School District office on Anderson Road in Rock Hill.
The Rock Hill School District office on Anderson Road in Rock Hill. aburriss@heraldonline.com

Founders Federal Credit Union will purchase the Rock Hill Schools district office and property, days after the Rock Hill school board decided to sell its North Anderson Road property for $2.7 million.

Founders said the new property will house a portion of its existing employees from the credit union’s corporate headquarters in Lancaster.

President and CEO Bruce Brumfield wrote in a statement that expanding to the schools facility will alleviate space concerns in the Lancaster headquarters, while allowing for future growth.

“With this new back office location in York County, we feel our Rock Hill Center will make us more attractive to people who desire to work in York County or closer to home,” said Nicki Nash, Founders chief marketing officer. “We want to attract those with a specific skill set toward technology and member service.”

Within a year of closing, Founders says it will be the sole tenant as the school district exits portions of the 12-acre office and grounds. The offer to buy the property includes a commercial lease.

The credit union, founded in Fort Mill in 1950, serves more than 200,000 members with 27 offices and three service centers in North and South Carolina.

The school board voted 4-3 to sell the office and 12-acre grounds, and 5-2 to build a new office, with a $6.5 million cap on the project. Members said the $2.7 million revenue from the sale will go toward the new office.

Rock Hill Schools Director of Communications Mychal Frost said movement of administrative personnel could happen within 18 months, noting that some of the instructional support and special education staff will be located in district school buildings in the future. The district office currently hosts roughly 80 staff members, he said.

Frost noted the sale has a benefit for the community in that once the property comes under ownership of the credit union it will return to the county tax rolls.

Superintendent Kelly Pew told the board in a memo that the $2.7 million offer is consistent with the asking price for the office property and an outparcel that was marketed separately. She said it also compares favorably with appraisals in 2011 and 2015.

The board has discussed building a new office on three acres of district property on Orange Street, next to the Central Child Development Center. That project would require working with the city to close Orange Street between Black and Flint streets to create space for parking, officials have said.

David Thackham: 803-329-4066, @dthackham