The wheels on new automated mail sorters soon will be turning at Lawrence's newest post office.
The $2.5 million Jayhawk Station facility is well under construction at 1901 W. 31st and is expected to open by the first week of August, said Postmaster Bill Reynolds. Once the new facility opens, the current Jayhawk Station on 23rd Street will close, Reynolds said.
The new post office is three times as large as the current Jayhawk Station. It will have four times as many parking spaces and twice as many post office boxes, Reynolds said. The extra space, he said, is long overdue and will allow the Postal Service to improve service.
"The current post office is tremendously undersized and was built 25 years ago," Reynolds said. "Lawrence has grown much faster than what was anticipated. The 23rd Street location, in addition to being too small, has some access and parking problems."
The new facility will handle about 40 percent of the city's mail and will serve ZIP codes 66046 and 66047, Reynolds said. He said those two zip codes encompass areas south of 15th Street or 19th Street, depending on whether the address is east or west of Iowa.
Features of the new post office not currently available at Jayhawk Station include a drive-through drop-off lane, automated mail sorting equipment and a new postal store. The new facility will, like current facilities, accept credit or debit cards.
The store will display all the stamps and other items sold to make it easier and faster to buy items, Reynolds said.
"We have a number of prepackaged products, so it will be easy to make a selection from a rack or display," Reynolds said. "It's really been popular at other sites around the country."