University helps keep those cards and letters coming - and going

May 27, 2010

Indiana State University has reached an agreement with the U. S. Postal Service that will allow postal customers to continue being served through a location in downtown Terre Haute.

Customers who rent mailboxes in the former Federal Building at Seventh and Cherry streets, currently being renovated to house ISU's Donald W. Scott College of Business, will have no disruption to their mail service.

Since ISU's announcement in March that effective July 1 it would no longer be able to staff postal operations at that location, university officials have been in negotiation with the U.S. Postal Service to develop a lease agreement that would allow renters of the 439 existing post office boxes to maintain delivery service.

"Indiana State University has listened to the needs of postal customers who expressed concern about the loss of their mailboxes in this historic location that has served them for years," said Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs and finance. "Our new agreement with the United States Postal Service shows our concern for the Terre Haute community in that it allows customers to continue receiving services at this location."

Terre Haute Postmaster Chad Way said the U.S. Postal Service has focused on minimizing impact for customers.

"We know that postal customers, especially those in the downtown area, have come to rely on the availability of postal service within their community," Way said. "We are pleased that we were able to work with ISU."

A four-year lease was signed by representatives of ISU and the U.S. Postal Service this week that allows the Postal Service to use the space to continue serving its customers. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon.

In addition to the box rentals, postal customers will also have access to a variety of services at the location.

A touch screen kiosk at the location will weigh letters and packages up to 70 pounds. Customers can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express cards at the kiosk to purchase metered labels for domestic mail, including packages. Delivery confirmation and signature confirmation services are also available.

Customers will be able to make stamp purchases through a cash-only vending machine.

"We have done our very best to ensure that this location meets the needs of the community in a way that serves the interest of the both the University and the U.S. Postal Service," McKee said. "We're very pleased that we've been able to make this happen."

Andrew Conner, director of Downtown Terre Haute, Inc., said "it's good news that the post office boxes will remain because postal service is such a vital component of a healthy downtown."

"The downtown area is a banking center and retail center for the community, and the post office is very important to the success of those businesses," Conner said.

Contact: Jim Jensen, director of facilities operations and maintenance, ISU Facilities Management Department, at 812-237-8194 or jim.jensen@indstate.edu.

Writer: Rachel Wedding McClelland, assistant director of media relations, ISU Communications and Marketing, at 812-237-3790 or rachel.mcclelland@indstate.edu.