Guilford County government is waging an ongoing battle against substance abuse and homelessness, and, to that end, county officials announced on Thursday, Jan. 25 that it’s seeking a firm to renovate a county-owned former nursing home that county leaders want to turn into a residential recovery center in Greensboro.

Guilford County is now accepting Requests For Qualifications (RFQs) from qualified design-build teams to repair and renovate the facility at 1411 Lees Chapel Road in Greensboro so that it can operate as a drug rehab center..

The request for qualifications is meant to help the county select “a design-build team by a qualifications-based selection process to provide design, estimating, construction and construction management services to accomplish the renovation of the existing facility.”

Interested firms must submit their RFQ by Thursday, Feb. 8 for consideration by the county.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioner Skip Alston and many other commissioners have been putting pressure on county staff to move forward quickly with programs that address drug use and homelessness – even if that means some other county projects must be temporarily put on hold.

The renovation of the Lees Chapel Road facility is part of the county’s plan to expand behavioral health services – one key to reducing homelessness.

Currently, the County supports a wide range of services including overdose treatment, harm reduction, crisis services and short-term facility-based recovery at the Guilford County Behavioral Health Center.

Guilford County is also working to improve access to mid- and long-term residential recovery services such as those that will be provided at the Lee’s Chapel Road facility.

According to county documents put out on January 25, the remainder of the process will go something like this: “Following the RFQ deadline, fully completed proposals will be reviewed and evaluated. The County will then select a design-build firm and prepare a Design-Build Contract and Project Ordinance for approval by the Board of Commissioners. Following approval, the County will work with the design-build firm to complete designs and to award a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract amendment for the construction of the project. Following the executed GMP, the selected design-build firm will begin the construction work on the Lees Chapel Residential Recovery Center facility. Completion of the residential recovery center will be determined by the vendor’s proposal, design plan, and construction timeline.”

In August of 2023, Guilford County allocated just under $3.5 million in federal relief to buy the former assisted living facility on Lees Chapel Road in Greensboro in order to build a long-term residential recovery center there.

The Lees Chapel Residential Recovery Center is meant to be part of an “overarching strategy to provide support, treatment, and resources to people engaging in recovery services by increasing access to mid- and long-term residential recovery services for residents across the county.”