On Monday, Sept. 16, Guilford County took a big step in its plan to build a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters.

The county sent out a “Request for Letters of Interest and Qualifications for Architecture Services for Sheriff’s Office Building” – which is known internally among county officials as “Event 661.”

For years, Guilford County has been discussing the need for a new home for the administrative services of the Sheriff’s Department and for related law enforcement operations.  The main office for the Sheriff’s Department is the aging Otto Zenke building at 400 W. Washington St. in downtown Greensboro. That building has structural problems due to its age, flooding and other factors.   At one time it even had a problem with snake infestation and some have gone so far as to claim the building is haunted.

Event 661 is a big job that involves the demolition of the Otto Zenke building and the old county jail – known as the “Law Enforcement Center” – and the rerouting of a tunnel that’s used to transport inmates from the jail to court and back.

According to the request sent out Monday, “The scope of this project is to reroute the existing inmate transport tunnel around the vacated Law Enforcement Center (LEC) located at 401 W. Sycamore Street, Greensboro, NC, demolish the LEC, and build a new two-story building of approximately 35,000 square feet with basement storage and parking for the Sheriff’s Administrative Offices on the LEC site.  This project will also demolish the existing Sheriff’s Administrative Office.”

The project also calls for building a surface parking lot on the site that consists of about 185 parking spaces.

According to the request sent out by the county, the total budget for the project is $12 million.

The last day for prospective firms to ask questions is Friday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. and the deadline for proposals is Friday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.

Those seeking more information should call Christol Murphy at 336-641-4821 or email her at cmurphy@guilfordcountync.gov.