The Lawrence postmaster says he expects plans for a new Jayhawk Station to be back on track soon.
A proposal for the new 21,521-square-foot postal station, which will be built on a 4-acre site on West 31st Street, was shelved last summer when postal authorities, in an effort to cut overhead, suspended spending on new construction projects.
Bill Reynolds, the Lawrence postmaster, said the U.S. Postal Service's regional office in Kansas City has begun revalidating projects that were put on ice.
"The process is starting to move again and the Jayhawk Station project will be one of the first to be considered," Reynolds said.
He added, however, that he did not know how soon the project would again receive the green light. Reynolds said the next news he expects to hear from postal officials is that contracts for the projects will be put out for bid.
THE NEW STATION will be built on the 174,404-square-foot site directly west of the Kmart store at 31st and Iowa. The postal service completed its purchase of the property last February from Cory and Cynthia Brinkerhoff and Robert C. Sturgeon. The postal service said it paid $600,000, or $3.44 per square foot, for the land, which is zoned for commercial uses.
The new station will replace the current Jayhawk Station, 1519 W. 23rd, which has 7,500 square feet.
Postal officials have said the existing facility is too small to handle the volume of mail generated by the burgeoning population in the southern end of the city. Also, the heavy traffic on 23rd Street complicates access for postal customers.
Original plans for the station called for the new facility to include automated equipment that eventually would sort all first-class mail electronically, using bar codes printed on the outside of envelopes.