For nearly 25 years, the $130 million Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union has maintained a branch in a major local hospital to serve employees. But in September the facility will get the boot-replaced by a bank, thanks to a $400 million donation to the hospital.“We were a bit surprised by the hospital’s decision, and so now we have to figure how to handle the 1,700 employee-members we have there,” explained Kevin Kavanaugh, the CU’s vice president of marketing.Hospital administrators informed Sioux Falls FCU two weeks ago that its leased space in the Sanford Hospital has been handed over to the $900 million First Premier Bank, the city’s largest, the owner of which gave the hospital $400 million in 2007.“We were told we had 90 days to vacate,” said Kavanaugh. Sioux Falls FCU has three other branches with a fourth in the planning stages.The hospital itself carries the name of the bank’s benefactor, T. Denny Sanford, First Premier’s majority shareholder.Final word on the move was presented to the CU’s CEO Fran Sommerfield in a letter. The CU is calling the move a blow to the hospital employees who have relied on the CU’s services there since 1981.Sioux Falls FCU has maintained its branch since 1984 after merging the old Sioux Valley Medical Federal CU. At the time, the medical facility was called Sioux Valley Hospital but has since been renamed after the family’s large charitable donation.Kavanaugh said arrangements are being made to serve Sanford employees out of its other facilities, including the new branch.A spokesman for the bank said its new Sanford branch will be full-service and promised the public it will be “very impressive.”Sommerfield said his CU really had no options in the hospital decision. “It was very clear what our options were,” he said. “We were asked to leave.”–[email protected]

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