School may house Keene Valley mail service

KEENEVALLEY-Local residents may soon be able to pick up their mail at Keene Central School (KCS), keeping their old zip code of 12943.

Henrietta Jordan is a member of an informal group of three people, including Marcy Neville and David Thomas-Train, which is seeking a replacement for the hamlet post office which was closed last October. The group formed more than a month ago, Jordan said.

"The idea is to replace the former Keene Valley post office with a facility that looks and feels much like the old one," Jordan said.

The current plan is that a "contract postal unit" (CPU) will be placed at KCS. A CPU is a privately operated facility under contract with USPS, Jordan said. It can provide nearly the full range of window services one can find at USPS office. For instance, it might not be able to provide money orders,Jordan said.

KCS Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston said KCS volunteered its space since it seemed there was no other suitable spaces available.

"This is more of a community service," Ford-Johnston said.

The school CPU may offer mailbox key-access 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Security concerns stemming from having residents at the school were something the group had "thought long and hard about," Jordan said.

The CPU could be constructed so it was entirely cut off from the school, Cynthia Ford Johnston said. One would enter and exit the CPU through a door separate from the school and never encroach on student areas. Only the subcontractor of the CPU might be able to enter these student areas.

Additionally, a security camera at the entrance of the CPU would be installed, Jordan said.

Increased traffic in the parking lot was an additional concern. This would be resolved, Ford-Johnston said, by closing the CPU window during high traffic times, such as when students arrive and depart school. Temporary speed bumps, to ensure people stayed within safe speeds, would also be installed.

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