By Paul T. Choate
Oct. 18, 2012. Work is moving along at the downtown Boone post office. Work began renovating the post office on May 16 and according to the Boone Planning and Inspections Department a tentative completion date has been set for March 2013.
According to Town Manager Greg Young, progress on the post office is about 19 to 20 percent complete.
Renovations started just after it was revealed on May 9 that the downtown Boone post office was one of 234 rural post offices that were spared from potential closure.
Greene Construction was awarded the bid for the renovation for the downtown post office at a cost of $1,189,454 this past spring. While the U.S. Post Office will still reside inside the building, the basement is being renovated to house the Planning and Inspections Department of the Town of Boone.
Green Construction has recently punched out what are called “knock-outs” that had always existed in the basement to make windows and has installed window wells for the once fully subterranean basement in preparation for the Planning and Inspections Department to move in.
Landscaping around the post office is being replaced too. “Almost all [of the landscaping] is from the original design,” said Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey at the June 29 Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn. “Being a federal project, some of the landscaping materials weren’t suitable for here, so we are replacing those particular items with ones that are suitable for our environment.”
Work has also begun on the inside of the building. Some wall paneling has been stripped so that it can be replaced and the old light fixtures have been taken down so that new ones can be installed.
With the Planning and Inspections Department residing closer to the courthouse and post office, officials at the “Lunch and Learn” said this will be more convenient not only for Planning and Inspections Department personnel but also for contractors.
“We are fortunate to have [the post office] stay here. I think they are happy to be there. It’s a really great exciting project. It’s wonderful to be right in the heart of downtown,” Bailey said. “It’s an ongoing project – slow and steady pace to it.”
Read more articles on the post office at hcpress.com/tag/downtown-boone-post-office.