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New post office planned

February 18, 1999

New Post officeBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




More space, more parking, more efficient carrier service and a store area with retail checkout counters are some of the features customers in the Northern Avenue area can expect when a new U.S. Post Office opens next year.

The 21742 ZIP code area of Hagerstown currently is being served by the post office at 531 Northern Ave.

The number of customers being served there has increased and the building is no longer big enough, David Bradshaw, manager of administrative services, said Thursday.

Bradshaw and other representatives from the U.S. Postal Service were at Northern Middle School to hear comments from the public about the plans for a new post office. About 10 people attended.

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The lack of space at the Northern Avenue post office has in turn caused overcrowding at the main post office on Franklin Street, and many postal carriers for the 21742 area have been forced to work out of the Franklin Street building, he said.

When the new facility opens, 23 carriers will move closer to their delivery area, making service more efficient, he said.

The U.S. Postal Service would like either to purchase land and build a new post office or remodel an appropriate existing building, he said. The site must be in the 21742 ZIP code area.

"The project is just beginning. No sites have been identified. We are looking for public feedback on areas to locate and to stay away from," said John Turpin, Postal Service real estate specialist.

The Postal Service would prefer to purchase land and build instead of taking out a long-term lease on a building.

"In the short term it's more expensive, but in the long run we would have (a) building and land and not just a bunch of lease payment receipts," said Bradshaw.

Requirements include a level, 2.5-acre site, he said.

The building would need to be 123,000 square feet, be handicapped accessible and have parking for 76 vehicles. It would have to comply with government regulations and environmental requirements, he said.

The Northern Avenue post office has about 10,000 carrier customers, and the Postal Service projects that will increase to about 13,000 over the 10 years.

Turpin was unable to provide a cost estimate for the project.

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