Construction delays stall opening of new Albion Post Office

Construction delays stall opening of new Albion Post Office

Crews are finishing the siding on the new Albion Post Office, which developer Jeff Piette hopes to complete by November, a year after the project began. In foreground is the restored Albion beacon, which stands in the center of the reconfigured intersection, allowing traffic to navigate using a roundabout. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – The developer responsible for building the Albion Post Office said his project timeline has been delayed another month or so due to factors outside of his control.

Jeff Piette, owner of Jeff’s Home Improvement, originally hoped the project would be complete by the spring of this year, but last winter was a tough one, adding a month or two to the schedule.

When winter conditions continued into April, the project was delayed further.

In June, Piette told The Breeze that he hoped to be done by September.

Now, Piette said he’s aiming for late October or early November.

Piette said the project has been riddled with delays since the beginning. While the former Albion Post Office burned down in February of 2017, a building permit was not issued until November.

“Things are out of my control,” Piette said again, noting that the delayed start caused him to lose his original framer for the construction at 15 School St. He said the project plans were held up due to the U.S. Postal Service’s unique building requirements, as well as debate over the placement of a flagpole.

“We had the framer for September and couldn’t start until early December,” he said. “I wanted the prep work done and the foundation laid by last October. We could have been a vanilla shell but wasted four months. … I’m trying to be optimistic, but I knew this would happen when we wasted all that time waiting.”

Piette said his crew is working to “button up” the building soon, so interior work can continue. Right now, Piette said crews are installing the sprinkler systems while finishing the siding.

In the meantime, Albion residents will continue to travel to the Manville Post Office at 30 Railroad St. to pick up their mail, as Albion does not have a home delivery service.

“Having to go to Manville Post Office to get mail for the last year and a half is ridiculous,” said Lisa Mathews Janicki. “I often don’t have time in the morning, and I am home after 5 p.m., so it’s an errand I have to plan for, when everyone else just gets mail at their door every day.”

Janicki said residents do not have post office boxes in Manville, so they must wait in line for staff to locate their mail and hand it to them.

“Now, with construction on Railroad Street, it is even more of an issue, and the new post office doesn’t really look like it will be ready anytime soon. I haven’t gotten the mail in about a week now,” she added.

Albion resident Lucia Walsh said, “While the post office administration has done a great job of making sure our needs are met during the interim period until the new Albion Post Office is constructed, we really do miss our Albion Post Office and outstanding staff. Everyone at the Manville Post Office has been lovely, but we live within walking distance of the Albion site.

“We are looking forward to Albion’s completion and are grateful to everyone who has helped make the transition as smooth as possible,” Walsh said.