Alan Greenspan and Other Officials Dedicate Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Birmingham Branch

For immediate release Dec. 8, 2000

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta officials today officially dedicated the Atlanta Fed's new Birmingham Branch building. Jack Guynn, president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Fed, and Andre Anderson, vice president and manager of the Birmingham Branch, joined Greenspan in making remarks at the ceremony.

In his remarks, Greenspan said, "Buildings such as this new Birmingham Branch, employing the most modern technologies, are central to the Federal Reserve System's continued fulfillment of the basic purposes and functions for which it was founded more than 80 years ago."

The new building allows the branch to more efficiently fulfill its key responsibility of processing payments, including cash, coin and checks, for the financial institutions it serves in the state of Alabama. For maximum efficiency, the new building is equipped with advanced cash and check processing equipment.

The branch's new cash services area features high-speed currency processors and automated guided vehicles to transport cash and coin from the currency processing rooms into the vault. On average, the branch processes approximately 1.2 million currency notes per day. The vault has a vertical configuration and uses an automated storage and retrieval system. The branch's new checks area uses high-speed check sorters and other automated equipment to process checks from financial institutions in Alabama as well as from other institutions and other Federal Reserve offices. On average, the branch processes approximately 1.8 million checks per day.

The new Birmingham Branch building replaces the previous building constructed in 1927. An addition in 1957 brought that building's total capacity to 104,000 square feet. But the branch still needed to lease substantial space in other buildings to meet its operational requirements. The new building, designed by the architectural firm of Spillis Candela & Partners Inc. of Miami, totals 183,000 square feet. The site for the building is 11 acres, an area that provides sufficient space for the building's footprint as well as green space to blend into the surroundings in the Liberty Park development where the building is located.

"The Birmingham Branch over the years has played an important role in the state, regional and national financial system," said Guynn. "This new facility will provide the infrastructure the branch needs to continue to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of financial institutions and the state's citizens for many years to come."

In 1996 the branch announced plans to construct a new building to replace its headquarters, which the branch had outgrown because of its business expansion, reflecting the growth of the Southeastern economy. Construction began in 1998, and the branch began occupying the building in October 2000. Holder Construction Co. of Atlanta, with assistance from H.J. Russell & Co. of Atlanta and Birmingham, served as construction manager for the project. In addition, several Birmingham-area firms participated in aspects of the project.

"We are very pleased with the opening of our new branch building," said Anderson. "Not only does the new building provide substantial efficiencies in the processing of cash and checks, but it also offers our employees a modern and professional work environment that will improve our ability to serve our customers."

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia and sections of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. As part of the nation's central banking system, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous commercial banks and provides a variety of payments services to financial institutions and to the U.S. government. The Birmingham Branch provides payments services, including cash, coin and check processing, to financial institutions in Alabama and to the U.S. government. In addition, the branch has a local board of directors who provide insights into conditions in the state's economy that are used in formulating monetary policy for the nation.

Contact: Jean Tate 404-498-8035