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.
“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.