Guilford County’s two courthouses rely on an electronic audiovisual system to present evidence and perform other functions, and now the systems in both the Greensboro and High Point courthouses are set to be upgraded. 

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the move at its Thursday, Nov. 4 meeting.

According to information provided to the Board of Commissioners by county staff, the audio-video systems used to present evidence in court are in bad need of attention in both courthouses.

 It’s one thing when an electronic presentation faces glitches in a high school classroom – it’s a much more serious matter when that happens in court.

The staff recommendation for the upgrade states, “Existing courtroom audio/video systems are a patchwork of technology dating back to the 1990’s. Failures of legacy technology hampers the efficient operation of the courts, causing delays and increasing time needed by Facilities Maintenance staff to respond to emergency outages. The systems are past the end of their useful life and need to be replaced.”

The upgrade for the High Point courthouse will cost about $175,000, and, for the Greensboro courthouse, will run around $310,000. The total upgrade cost is expected to be roughly $485,000.

According to the current plan, Pathway Technologies will install a video evidence system that will provide “touch-less contact on exhibits and other papers that are needed in a trial” that will help the judge and jury view presented items with more clarity and will mean less chance of audio-visual trouble.

According to county staff, there aren’t many vendors who provide this specialized service, and it’s vital that the audio and video technology function well together as one unit. So, county staff expects that relying on a single vendor for this type of system will mean greater reliability and ease of service in the future.

The county has some money remaining from a capital fund previously set up to make improvements in the two courthouses.