AMERICAN CANYON — The tiny American Canyon post office, described by one resident as no bigger than a “postage stamp,” is no more.
An expanded version, triple the size of the old one, received a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.
“This is a big victory,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena. “But is a victory for the people of American Canyon because of the people of American Canyon.”
Thompson mentioned town hall meetings where American Canyon residents pushed for a bigger post office. He called this a “textbook example” of people coming together to get something done.
Mayor Leon Garcia credited Thompson, not only for championing the remodeled, bigger post office, but for securing a ZIP code for American Canyon in 2000.
“We needed a larger post office,” Garcia said. “Well, now it’s here.”
The post office opened in 2001 at 310 Crawford Way in a 324-square-foot space that American Canyon officials have said is comparable to a master bedroom in a new home. It made use of a temporary building from the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Since then, American Canyon has grown from about 9,000 residents to 20,000 residents. A post office lobby with room for only a few people at a time no longer satisfied a bigger city.
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“When it rains, we get wet waiting outside the little awning, as there can be many people waiting for their turn to approach the door to the post office,” a resident said in a 2017 city survey on post office satisfaction.
“I drive to Vallejo to go to the post office,” another said.
In December, Thompson announced a bigger post office would start construction in January. The expansion added 700 square feet to the older structure, including a lobby with walls colored red, white and blue.
To be certain, the expanded post office is not a palace. The days of building post offices with the architectural grandeur of the 1933 Art Deco, earthquake-damaged building in downtown Napa seem to have passed. The remodeled American Canyon post office is a white rectangle with a flat roof.
But it’s much roomier than the old version, and the new lobby is clean and inviting. The U.S. Postal Service reported the expansion cost $239,000.
Crystal Jones, U.S. Postal Service Bay-Valley senior operations manager, said the post office is a place for people in the community to see each other. It is part of the commerce for a growing community.
“We look forward to providing you great service,” Jones told the gathering of about 40 people at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The American Canyon Post Office is open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.