Renovations at the Seven Mile Beach Post Office are nearing completion, with the Westshore Centre location set to re-open mid-May.
The post office has been closed since Hurricane Ivan, suffering major damage from the storm. Customers have been picking up their mail from the Airport Post Office since then, says a Government press release.
Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow and senior staff recently toured the facility, which is being renovated by Hadsphaltic Ltd. The company has re-furbished the interior, replaced drywall and built new offices and public counters.
‘We’ve made some architectural changes that will allow staff to function better and that will hopefully be more pleasing to our customers,’ Ms Glasgow said.
‘We’ve built a more user-friendly counter, and the new design will create more work space for staff behind the counter and up to three service spaces for our clerks.’
Also included in the renovations is a slightly expanded office for the Philatelic Bureau where customers can purchase Cayman Islands’ collectible stamps. A prominent display case fixed to the wall beside the counter will promote the latest and most popular collectible stamps on offer, which should appeal to residents and tourists alike, the release said.
Its colour scheme has also been updated to bring the design in line with Cayman’s other post offices.
During Hurricane Ivan, SMB post office received extensive structural and water damage from a collapsed roof and four feet of floodwater. Despite disaster preparedness measures, nearly all the post office’s equipment and furniture was destroyed. In addition, salt water exposure significantly damaged 1,648 mailboxes.
Replacement mailboxes are on order from an overseas supplier and are scheduled to arrive mid-May. Once they are installed and the final renovations completed, SMB staff will move operations from the temporary quarters at the airport location to the renovated SMB outlet over a single weekend, the release said.
To help in preparing for the move, SMB customers are asked to clear their mail from the airport location as often as possible over the next few weeks. ‘The less mail we have to move back to SMB the better,’ said Ms Glasgow.
She added that during the storm, SMB lost many of its records. ‘We’re asking all SMB customers that rented mailboxes before Ivan to fill out and return the form to declare their mailbox so we can do an accurate accounting of mailbox availability.’ Forms were distributed to SMB customers via their mailboxes at the airport location a couple months ago.
Customers who rent mailboxes 31500 to 32219 are also asked to report any lost keys to District Manager Carlene Ebanks at the airport outlet. Customers with mailboxes other than the above will be able to collect new keys once Seven Mile Beach re-opens.
Customers and staff of Seven Mile Beach Post Office are not the only ones keen for the renovated post office to open. General Manager for Livingstone CM Studio Ltd, Chris Sutton told Ms Glasgow and her senior staff, ‘Everyone at Westshore Centre is keen to have SMB post office back because you bring so many people into the complex.’