The U. S. Postal Service, citing a need for increased office and parking space, is building three post offices in two adjoining West San Fernando Valley communities at a cost of $10.8 million.
Postal officials said they expected to open two post offices in Canoga Park and one in Winnetka by late 1986, replacing three offices that no longer have adequate parking, post office boxes or elbow room for employees and customers.
Postal Service spokesman Joseph L. Breckenridge said the concentrated construction in the West Valley communities is part of a program to replace 13 of the Valley area's 57 post offices. No total cost is available for the other projects because some are only in planning stages, he said.
The other new postal facilities will be in Agoura Hills, Canyon Country, Encino, Northridge, Saugus, Sherman Oaks, Sylmar, Tarzana, Toluca Lake and Van Nuys, Breckenridge said.
Postal authorities said the new centers will be staffed by employees from the offices being replaced and that they do not expect to hire more employees.
The decision to build three larger post offices in Canoga Park and Winnetka was prompted by a study that forecast an 18% to 49% population increase there by 1995, Breckenridge said. Working conditions already are cramped and postal officials expect more mail as the population grows, he said.
The new facilities will be equipped with a total of 1,500 rental post office boxes, Canoga Park Postmaster Margaret Ross said. About 100 people are waiting to rent boxes in Canoga Park and Winnetka, she said.
The postal study said that the main Canoga Park post office, built in 1938 on the 21800 block of Sherman Way, would need about 40% more space for optimum operation.
That office will remain in operation, but the new office being built in the 8200 block of Canoga Avenue will become the main Canoga Park post office, Breckenridge said. Design and construction costs are expected to total $4.8 million, he said.
Two of the buildings slated for replacement are storefront post offices. They are the Winnetka Station in the 20000 block of Saticoy Street and the Collier Station in the Platt Avenue shopping center in Canoga Park.
Each has only about five parking spots. The Collier Station has no loading dock and lacks secure parking for postal vehicles, Breckenridge said.
Replacing the storefront post offices, he said, will be the new Winnetka Station on Winnetka Avenue and Keswick Street, and the West Hills Station on Sherman Way and Sherman Place in Canoga Park. Together, they will have 46 parking spots, Breckenridge said.
Land and construction costs for those projects are estimated at $6 million, he said.
Also to be closed is an annex, on Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, where 70 letter carriers pick up bundles of mail for delivery. The carriers will operate out of the new main post office, Breckenridge said.
Construction of all three stations began in late summer.