The $23.9 million project to demolish the old Guilford County jail and build a new Sheriff’s Department administrative complex in downtown Greensboro has come to a screeching halt.
Just before midnight on Thursday, March 2, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to end the contract with Samet Corp., which had been awarded the job.
The only publicly stated reasons the county has provided is that it was “due to a change in the working relationship” and that “the working relationship was disrupted by an incident that was wholly inconsistent with Guilford County’s commitment to its core values.”
Samet states that the rift grew in part because the county improperly demanded more minority subcontractor participation after the project had already been set and approved by the county.
On Thursday, March 2, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate the contract with Samet, and county officials are now preparing to find another construction company to complete the job.
On Monday, March 6, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said the county is taking the necessary steps to get the project back on track.
“The first thing is demolishing the old jail,” Alston said.
Phase 1 of the project, which includes preparing that structure for demolition, is largely complete.
The new headquarters and additional parking area have been on the county’s plate for a long time. Long before this giant snafu, Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers was pleading for the county commissioners to move faster on the project – which was going to last into 2024 before – and now there won’t even be a new timeline until a new contractor is named.
“It’s already been five years,” Alston said of the effort to get the project going.
Alston said that there may be some overlap of subcontractors who were working on the previous contract and that may work under the new one. He said that, however, will depend on which firms the next contractor uses.
Some have suggested that, due to inflation and the logistics of rebidding the contract, the project will be costlier than planned.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily true,” Alston said, adding that when firms take a job as construction manager at risk, they typically include a liberal price bump that covers contingencies.
He said the next provider found in the coming selection process may not be as costly as Samet.
Alston said he wasn’t aware of whether there would be legal action from Samet but he said his concerns are with the county’s next actions since the project badly needs to move forward.
Guilford County BOC…another race SNAFU.
This project will move forward at the same snail’s pace as any other County/City project. School Security systems, school repairs , new schools etc.
politicians all have their own honey pot and unless you fill it on their schedule you’re not in compliance.
Sadly, as I have said before, you elected them, your responsible for the outcome.
Who said what and when. When were they fired, were they really employee of Samet or a contracted employee. Tell us the rest of the story
Totally agree, we need a long detailed interview of the “fired employee” to find out exactly who was there and what was said in that meeting. Was it by chance videotaped or recorded? It was a meeting by public officials, regarding a publicly owned building’ and the outcome of a public bid process. It should be publicly available information.
The Commissioners pushing to add contractors to a construction job that is already quoted and accepted reeks of corruption. The BWBE quotas were already met. So why was the demand made? Do they really believe costs are going down as a result of firing the GC and requoting? In this inflationary environment? Needs an outside agency to follow this project with an eye towards kickbacks and make work.
Skip is a total brain fart. Just go ahead and and add 3-4 more million to the 24 already budgeted if the taxpayers are lucky
Maybe Samet didn’t bend over far enough.
Why can’t the inmates maintain the jail? With good work, perhaps early release. A win, win.
But no, the money needs to be awarded to the Faithful.
No matter how much the govt extorts from us, they always want more. If they can’t manage with all this, why should we give them anymore. If I can do it (on less every year), so can you.
I totally agree it’s both a great idea and one that benefits all involved. Since it makes sense, it will be the last proposal on the table with this lot. Sadly, I believe there are also some legal hang-ups here because the bulk of the labor would be from pre-trial detainees. As I understand it, there’s a whole lot of extra drama when having them work as opposed to those who are already committed (sentenced.)
Back when the County Prison Farm was in operation it wasn’t uncommon to be able to walk in during meal times and find someone with just about any skill set imaginable, and most were very willing to help with jobs related to things they were familiar with while gaining “good time” as they called it. The prisoners would get about 3 days of their sentence reduced for every 30 they worked and it was reported to the courts to show their efforts as any pending cases were still being heard. The county really did away with a lot of great programs that helped many, including the taxpayers, when they shut it down.
I hope Samet sues the county and each of the County Commissioners who voted to end Samet’s legal contract. Something needs to be done with the discrimination against contractors and vendors because they are WHITE MALES! Everyone has a right to bid on projects and projects should be awarded to the lowest bidder regardless of the color of their skin and whether they are females or males. I’m a taxpayer and it makes me furious how the Commissioners, mainly the democrats waste OUR MONEY.
Sheriff Barnes had plans for the old Law Enforcement Center to be renovated at a cost of approx. $17 million dollars. The project was approved by the Commissions and plans were well underway with a planned completion in 18 months. Of course Sheriff Barnes lost the election and in come Danny Rogers on his white horse of righteousness and he started planning his own law enforcement center. Of course the first thing to do is terminate the employment of over 25 employees. Many of them had played a part in designing the Sheriff Barnes’ Administrative Office. The democrats took over the County Commissioners and Danny Rogers contributed his two cents of knowledge and now the project is over $23.9 million dollars and I expect that before it is completed it will cost
$25 -28 million dollars.
Pure corruption, just follow the money. Samet has been doing this for a long time and just did not fold to the politics. What about the small business run by a white guy. Another reverse discrimination law with the focus on MWBE or what ever it is called today. The tax payer always gets screwed. Anyone that does not believe this will cost more is living under a rock. Hope the voters keep this in mind when these crooks are up for reelection.
The Guilford County detention center was built in 2012 in Greensboro. Let’s utilize that facility, before the new construction.
John, I was recently told by someone in the county HR department that skips 5 new employees for the mwbe department jobs were never posted. Was he was in charge of the hires as well as the salaries.if this is true I don’t think it’s legal or ethical. Not to mention these positions were not in the original budget when it was passed. Can you imagine the uproar if Billy Yow had pulled something like this. Maybe Scott could do a little digging and find out what he truth.