Gidding Street post office remodeled, reduced

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Portales resident Sara Allison checks her employer’s post office box Thursday at the Gidding Street post office in Clovis. The post office has changed from almost 14,000 square feet to a 2,500 square foot space in the same building.

Liliana Castillo

Patrons to the Gidding Street post office are adjusting to the new entrance, which is three yards south of the previous entrance.

Most patrons get as far as pushing on the previous, now locked, doors, before noticing signs that point the way to the new entrance.

The post office underwent a remodel and opened Monday in a space of 2,500 square feet. Previously, the post office occupied most of the 14,500 square feet on the bottom floor of the Gidding Street building.

The U.S. Postal Service shifted main operations to the office on 21st street last year, citing diminished traffic at the Gidding Street post office.

Barbara Wood, customer relations coordinator for the postal service, said the Clovis post offices analyzed their routes and retail windows in the last six weeks and realized there was a reduction in retail numbers.

“Because of the retail volume that station was getting, they figured out that with that number of transactions that one clerk would be sufficient to run that office,” Wood said.

Wood said specific retail volume numbers were not available.

Wood said the post office will provide the same services as it did prior to the move.

Clovis resident Patricia Bazar said she frequents the Gidding Street post office and likes the new appearance.

“I’m pretty happy with it,” Bazar said. “I like the new setup and the new post office boxes.”

Bazar said she hadn’t experienced long lines at the post office with its new limited retail window access.

Clovis resident Tyrell Garrett said he doesn’t believe the one window will provide enough access.

“There’s still quite a bit of traffic here,” Garrett said. “Especially older people.”

Garrett said he has never used the 21st Street post office and hopes the change doesn’t force him to.

The move from 13,923 square feet to 2,500 square feet included removal of 470 vacant post office boxes.

Patrons with a post office box needs to pick up a new key at the service window and return the old key.

The 28,000 square foot building was purchased by Curry County in June of last year.

Initially, the postal service contemplated closing the post office in the Gidding Street building to cut costs. When citizens protested, the county ended up purchasing the building and leasing the post office the space they needed.

The top floor of the building houses offices for the Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said. Before purchasing the building for $750,000, the county paid $100,000 a year to lease the top floor.

At a May 5 Curry County Commission meeting, commissioners instructed Pyle and his staff to go through a bidding process for an architectural study for plans for a remodel in the building.

Pyle said the county is looking at which county offices can be moved to the lower level of the building in the space available.