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You’ve got mail: GSS renovations coming end of May

Kyle Kittredge/Staff Granite Square Station is getting an upgrade. The renovations will start at the end of May.

The dread and frustration of waiting in line at the Granite Square Station (GSS) Mailroom is all too real, especially at the beginning of the year, with students not receiving messages regarding packages, getting large orders and mailroom employees just being overwhelmed.

That ordeal will soon be over.

The mailbox and filing system at the GSS are going to be renovated and updated over the upcoming summer, starting at the end of May.

Babcock Hall’s mailboxes will be moved to the GSS, but the Woodside Apartments and Gables will be switching over to a new software system instead, and thus will still require mailbox keys.

The GSS was designed to be a mail-processing center that handled small amounts of packages. In recent years, however, the mailroom has become a package-processing center that handles small amounts of mail. Both the physical layout and information technology platform of the GSS need to be updated to accommodate the shift.

“First class mail, if we could average it out on a day,” Theresa Faist, manager of the GSS Mailroom and Shipping Store said, “We’d get less than 100 pieces a day for the 11,000 mailboxes we’re holding there.”

Instead of having mailboxes and using mail keys to get letters and slips, students will only have to go up to the desk, present their ID, and ask for their mail.

Faist said, “We can’t process [the packages] efficiently without small space. With the mailboxes it’s safe to say thousands of students aren’t looking at them and some people never pick up their mail but they have a mailbox sitting there and it’s prime real estate where we could be putting packages.”

With the new system, students that have a mailbox at the GSS will still have the same mailbox number, but instead of having a mailbox will just have a file folder in the new high-density folder system.

Students will also receive an email when they have first class mail, the same way they get an email about a package right now.

“We think it will be hugely beneficial,” Fiast added, “We think it will be less wait time especially during the beginning of the year.” 

The beginning of the year is the busiest time for the mailroom.

Right now, the mailroom receives around 100,000 packages a year, and close to 2,000 packages in the first two weeks of the fall semester, mostly due to textbooks and furniture.

The workers in the mailroom will also have to adjust to the system.

“The challenging part will be learning it,” Bryan Langhill, history major and mailroom employee said, “because we’re all going to be starting brand new, there’s a learning curve for the staff as well as students because it’s a lot different from what we’re used to dealing with now.”

Kristin Mikulski, a recent masters graduate, who has worked at the mailroom for close to five years, is “excited to have more space to work compared to what it is like now.”

“We used to get everything done in a day and be good to go but now it’s just so much stuff, it’s so many packages,” Mikulski said, “and I think this new system will definitely help with the increase.”

The ID Office will be moved to the current location of the Shipping Store, across from the mailboxes.

Rick MacDonald, the director of business affairs, said, “It just makes sense since student ssspend more time in the MUB.”

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