With the U.S. Postal Service considering a move from its Green Street location in Gainesville, Brenau University officials on Tuesday publicly declared their interest in the property.
“We have long coveted that space,” Brenau President Ed Schrader said during a public hearing on the proposed post office relocation. “We would love to move students into that facility, primarily for our teacher education program, which is growing right now.”
The postal service is looking to consolidate its operations, and any move would not change P.O. Box addresses and the zip code would remain the same.
“We’re not closing the existing post office,” Sandra Rybicki, a real estate specialist with the USPS, said. “What we are doing is currently evaluating the possibility of relocating.”
Rybicki said the current 25,000-square-foot facility on Green Street is “substantially larger than what our needs are” and that the postal service is looking to move its retail operations to another property within a 3.5-mile radius.
Weigh in on possible post office move
A 30-day public comment period on the potential relocation of the U.S. post office on Green Street in Gainesville ends Feb. 22.
Comments can be sent to c/o Vice President, Facilities Sandra A. Rybicki, Real Estate Specialist, USPS Facilities Implementation, PO Box 667180, Dallas, TX 75266-7180.
Schrader said the university would look at different financing options, including the potential use of special purpose local option sales tax revenue, to acquire the property.
However, “Our interest in the property is not contingent on any SPLOST opportunities,” he added.
Moving the office has been a priority for city leaders for decades as traffic congestion along Green Street worsens.
The post office opened in 1967, and Councilman George Wangemann said relocating it has been a point of discussion since he was first elected 31 years ago.
Proposals were revealed in late November to make major fixes to the roadway that cuts through the heart of downtown.
The plans call for roundabouts at the street’s intersections with Academy Street on one end and Riverside Drive on the other. A median is also proposed but has received pushback from business owners whose property fronts Green Street.
“I would love nothing more than to move the post office off of Green Street,” Councilman Sam Couvillon said. “I think it would just make it a more appealing avenue to travel without all that traffic going in and out.”
The next step in the process is a 30-day comment period that ends Feb. 22.
“I support the move of the post office, completely,” Mayor Danny Dunagan said. “We’ve been working on this a long time. Looks like we’re starting that process.”