© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Unclear future for Albany’s Academy Station Post Office as public comments are sought

Public comments must be postmarked by July 1, 2022
Dave Lucas
Public comments must be postmarked by July 1, 2022

The fate of the Academy Station Post Office in Albany remains up in the air as public comments are sought on a proposed new facility.

In August 2021 Academy Station vacated its long-time New Scotland Avenue home to make way for construction of a new apartment complex, with PO boxes and postal services temporarily moved to Fort Orange Station on Central Avenue.

Several weeks later the Postal Service reopened Academy Station on Ontario Street, with little fanfare. Many residents in the 12208 zip code the facility serves were unaware of the move. Adding to the confusion, word had spread that USPS had sent out postcards seeking comment about Academy Station's future. Not everyone received the mailer. 10th ward Albany Common Councilor Owusu Anane wants the facility to remain open.

“As a representative for the Pine Hills neighborhood, which is one of the most walkable neighborhoods, we would like to see a permanent post office in our neighborhood," said Anane. "Having the current location, make it permanent, not only benefits the Pine Hills neighborhood, but it benefits the Buckingham Pond neighborhood, the Helderberg neighborhood and also the Beverwyck neighborhood. So we're going to keep advocating and agitating to make sure that we have a permanent space for our post office.”

Anane notes Albany has lost three post offices over the last 12 years, and advocates say closure of Academy Station will leave up to one-third of the city without a functional, local post office.

Over winter five Albany neighborhood associations banded together and launched a “Save our Post Office” campaign aimed at keeping open the Ontario Street post office, which postal officials now refer to as a temporary location.

In February rallygoers outside the facility included Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko of the 20th district and fellow-Democrat Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, who told the gathering that a letter of support to keep Academy Station open, signed by more than 30 elected officials who represent various parts of the city, was sent to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

"They also want the post office to see that this is a beloved resource in our community," Sheehan said. "We need to keep Academy Station. We are willing to work with you, we want to be your partner, and I want to echo 'come and use this post office!'"

Meanwhile Anane says he has spoken with developers who told him there is a resolution in the works "that all parties will be happy with."

USPS spokesperson for Upstate New York Mark Lawrence tells WAMC in an email that the postal service did send out fliers, continues to disseminate information and "is currently exploring the relocation of the temporary Academy Station Post Office at 363 Ontario Street to a permanent property at 563 New Scotland Avenue," its original home.

Anane urges residents to "keep advocating." “Keep using your voice, keep writing letters, Keep on reaching out to Congressman Paul Tonko. Keep on reaching out to federal representatives, state representatives, keep on advocating for this post office. That is the only way I can see the post office staying permanently. They need to hear from us. So if you receive that postcard, saying, you know to weigh in on where the permanent location should be please fill it out and please return it. I'm glad that the post office is finally reaching out, doing some outreach. It was long overdue,” said Anane.

Comments are being taken by mail through July 1st.

Albany Academy, NY – MPO Relocation
United States Postal Service
PO Box 27497
Greensboro, NC 27498

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
Related Content