Osoyoos Credit Union is adding a second location in Rock Creek this fall — but the new building will do more than just provide financial services.
“It’s morphed into even more than I could ever have fathomed,” said Greg Sol, OCU’s Chief Executive Officer of a 3,000 sq. ft. building that will not only house the credit union’s operation in the community but also provide space for other organizations as well.
“The vision is for a shared space — a shared office — that is open and available to non-profits or others that otherwise wouldn’t have access to that kind of space.”
The credit union is partnering with the Rock Creek Farmers Institute to create a cooperative with a mission to deliver additional economic and social services into Rock Creek, located a half hour east of Osoyoos on Hwy. 3.
“We’ll be the initial capital — which every one of those projects need. We bought land and with the Rock Creek Farmers Institute created a partnership. We put some money in, they put some money in, and that allowed the regional district, non-profits and a whole lot of other those types of organizations to come on board.”
OCU plans to provide services in the building two to three days a week, setting up its operations in such a way that everything is secured as others make use of the building while staff is not there.
“When we’re not there, our office is available for someone else to use,” Mr. Sol explained. “We’re trying to make it so that it’s a well-utilized space.
“The community is excited about it — and not just about having some financial services out there. Volunteers need a place to call a home base and we’re really pleased to be a part of that cooperative.”
The project will bring fibre-optic service to Rock Creek, allowing residents to stop in and take advantage of high-speed internet currently not available.
The four-acre lot on which the building is being constructed also holds future promise. Mr. Sol sees other opportunities to grow economically.
“We’re looking at what other businesses we can attract on to that property to bring better economy and jobs to the community.”
The project, he said, is in line with the credit union’s community-giving philosophy.
“It started with looking at the demographics of our community and how we could better serve our community,” he explained. “We have a lot of members who live up there.
“We’re about the community, we’re here for the community and we want to support the community the best we can.”