Oxford, Mississippi (PRWEB) July 02, 2014 - Starting July 14, the first floor of Crosby Hall will be home to a new 2,200-square-foot Pak Mail center, which will have up to 5,000 mailboxes and a fully staffed package center to serve University of Mississippi students, faculty, staff and retirees.
The new mailing center will offer more services than the campus' U.S. Postal Service branch, which is closing permanently Aug. 1 as part of the $50 million renovations to the Ole Miss Student Union. University officials encourage students, faculty, staff and retirees who want to continue to receive their mail on campus to sign up for a Pak Mail box as soon as possible. The process to sign up for a mailbox is already open on the Pak Mail Ole Miss website.
Jim Shaver, who owns the local Pak Mail franchise and has a Jackson Avenue location, said he believes the new center at UM will be an upgrade.
"We're happy to be part of the Ole Miss campus," Shaver said. "We hope to offer students a lot more than they've had before. We're much, much more than just a post office."
Text messages will alert users when mail arrives at their Pak Mail "Smart Box." The boxes are available in three different sizes. Customers with a mailbox there will be able to access the mailing center 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For others, the mail center will be staffed 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
In addition to being able to send and receive mail through the U.S. Postal Service, customers at the Crosby Hall center can choose between major international shipping companies such as FedEx, UPS, DHL and others, Shaver said. This will give international students better shipping options than they've had before, he said.
The facility also offers passport photo services, money orders and transfers of money through a wire service.
The Pak Mail center also offers UM students the option to for moving and storing the items from their residence hall rooms before arrival in the fall and while they're away for the summer. That option has been available through Pak Mail locally, but the company hopes more students will use that service once the Crosby Hall center opens, Shaver said.
Some details of the plan are still being finalized.
UM Housing Director Lionel Maten said he believes partnering with Pak Mail is a win for Ole Miss.
"Having a partner with the diversity of services that Pak Mail brings to our campus can't help but be a positive outcome, not only for our students, but also for our community," Maten said. "This partnership is one that will prove to be a fruitful one for all parties involved."
This summer, UM begins a four-year, $50 million renovation and expansion of its Student Union, which will include a larger dining area, new student government offices, a ballroom, conference space and other amenities. The work will increase the Student Union's size from 97,000 square feet to about 157,000 square feet. The 10,000-square foot post office there will shut down permanently Aug. 1.
Customers with Pak Mail boxes will start to receive mail and packages at the Crosby Hall center, and university employees will continue receiving business mail at the departments where they work. The university will keep its 38677 ZIP code, which allows the mail to be "pre-sorted" by Postal Service workers before being delivered to campus each day.
Those UM retirees, employees and others who had a mailbox in the Student Union have the additional option of getting a P.O. box at Oxford's post office on McElroy Drive. The boxes there are expected to be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Credit: Michael Newsom - University of Mississippi News
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