The New Year is almost hear – the new local government fiscal year that is, the one that runs each year from July 1 to June 30 – so it’s fitting that Guilford County government is about to take on some new projects.

The county has recently finished some giant projects such as a new animal shelter, a new Emergency Services fleet maintenance and repair facility and a new mental health center – and now county facilities’ staff and other county staff are turning their focus to other projects.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to sign off on the start of several of those this week, including renovations estimated to cost $417,000 – mostly at the Department of Health and Human Services building on Maple Street in Greensboro.  The repair and renovation work will improve safety and security at the Maple Street building, as well as enhance accessibility for the disabled.  Work will also be conducted at another county social services site in Greensboro in order to improve safety and security including “fire safety enhancements, structural improvements to improve facility utilization and exterior egress, and security upgrades.”

About five years ago, there were some concerning incidents at the county’s social services sites and, since then, the county has been taking measures to make the facilities safer such as adding security guards, altering entrance patterns and adding security cameras.

Another project the county is undertaking – also meant to improve safety and security – is at the county’s Juvenile Detention Center at 15 Lockheed Ct. in Greensboro near Piedmont Triad International Airport.  The project will cost taxpayers an estimated $200,000.  The changes should make the facility safer for staff and keep the juveniles from fleeing before they get their lives on a straight and narrow path.

Also this week, the Board of Commissioners is expected to give the go ahead to establish a Guilford County Parks and Recreation Master Plan estimated to cost a quarter of a million dollars.  In recent years, the county has been upgrading its parks system in a big way and the new master plan is meant to inform the county in the coming years as to the best uses for its park land and open space.