Tearing down a large sturdy old jail and building a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters is no easy task, but Guilford County government is having to do that job twice since there was a severe falling out between Guilford County government and Samet Corp. – the company the county originally hired to complete the three-phase project. After Samet finished most of the first phase of the project – prepping the old jail in downtown Greensboro for demolition – the county now has to find a company to complete the job.
One question is how long it will take to get the project underway again.
Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch said that, currently, those arrangements are going on at the staff level, and he added that the commissioners haven’t heard an update or been asked to make any decisions on the matter.
“We haven’t even talked about it,” Upchurch said of the commissioners. “We’re just ready to start the project all over again.”
One county official who’s no doubt frustrated is Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers. For years, Rogers complained that the county was dragging its feet on the needed new facility and, even if Samet had continued as the Construction Manager at Risk, the job would have taken until mid-2024.
Questions to county staff did not provide much clarity as to when the project will be rebid. Julie Smith, Guilford County’s communications and public relations director, told the Rhino Times that no date has been set.
“The county is moving forward with the work necessary to re-start the competitive selection process and expects to re-bid the remaining project work in the spring,” she said.
Spring ends this year on Wednesday, June 21. She added that the work remaining on the project includes “completion of the demolition of the old jail site, construction of the new Law Enforcement Center, and demolition of the Otto Zenke Building, which currently houses the Sheriff’s Office administrative functions.”