The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department shut down its headquarters this week to clean and sanitize it amid coronavirus concerns.

But in the not too distant future the department won’t have to worry at all about the aging and problem-plagued Otto Zenke building where the department now operates. On Thursday, Dec.17, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve Greensboro’s own Samet Corporation as the “Construction Manager at Risk” firm hired to build the new Guilford County Sheriff’s Department headquarters.

That method of handling a project is usually more expensive, but it also places more financial risk on the company – rather than the county – than one would see in a traditional construction contract.

The project, known officially in Guilford County government as the “Sheriff’s Office Building project,” has taken a lot longer than Sheriff’s Department employees had hoped. However, with the action the Board of Commissioners is scheduled to take at their Thursday meeting, the project should be on track once again.

Former Sheriff BJ Barnes and current Sheriff Danny Rogers, along with others in department command, have for years stressed problems with the building that once served as the business office for renowned interior decorator Otto Zenke. The building has leaks, is prone to flooding, has structural issues that make it unsafe in some areas and has other problems like uneven floors. The building even once had a problem with snakes, of all things and, and a surprising number of people firmly believe that the building is haunted.

The motion on the agenda for the commissioners on December 17 calls for the board to approve an increase of $147,500 to the Sheriff’s Office Building capital project ordinance – to be funded with 2017 bond proceeds – for “pre-construction services,” and it also calls for the approval of the contract, in substantial form, with Samet .

The first round of preconstruction services is expected to cost about $147,500.

The new headquarters will be on the same block as the Otto Zenke building, which sits next to the new Guilford County jail in downtown Greensboro.