Since 1960 Gardner Post Office customers have been dropping their mail off at the location on Park Street, but that all changed on Saturday as the Post Office transitioned to its much-anticipated new building on 183rd Street and
According to Post Master Wayne Sourk, most of the office had been in transition for the last few weeks. Movers from the maintenance department were in over the last part of the week to complete the heavy lifting.
“Operationally we should have everything done on (Saturday), we’ll continue to move a few things after that,” Sourk Said. “It’s been a long time coming, but hopefully it just means that it will be perfect when we get there and the transition will be smooth.”
Long time coming, indeed, a new building was originally put on the schedule seven years ago, but a drop in the volume of mail following the anthrax attacks in the early 2000s as well as budget freezes delayed final approval.
The building was finally slated to break ground nearly one year ago.
Sourk described the new building, explaining that it is laid out in a standard footprint offered by the Post Office.
“The front end should be similar to what we had, there will be mailing supplies, and that will be a bit different because there is a bit more room in the retail lobby. The drive up box will be located on the correct side of the street, unlike how it is (on Park),” he said, elaborating on the differences between the two buildings. “Most of the changes are in the backroom, they’ll give us a little more room to operate to hopefully make things more efficient.
That building was built in1960, and behind the scenes and behind the counter we were getting very, very cramped. With Gardner’s continued growth it would’ve only gotten worse.”
The Post Master is ready for the dust to settle so his employees can continue providing the excellent service their customers have come to expect.
“Have patience with us, the first couple, three days will be a little hectic. We’ve tried to organize as much as possible. All the Gardner employees will do their best to make it as smooth as we can for everybody,” he said.
The new post office is currently open. Collection boxes will remain at the Park Street location for customers to continue dropping mail.