Guilford County has always had a particularly interesting use of county space: In the past, some prime county-owned real estate – such as the county commissioners’ office space on the first floor of the old Guilford County Court House – went completely unused for years, while other county offices were jam-packed with workers.

Well, now, at the request of Guilford County Manager Mike Halford, the Guilford County Facilities Department, along with an outside consultant, will be conducting an effort “to provide the County with a comprehensive space study and facility condition assessment.”

At the end of the process, Guilford County, which has land, buildings and office space sprawled across the county, will know exactly what real estate it owns, its condition, and how it’s being used – and, therefore, hopefully, put that space to better use.

The county will also get a better idea of how much money it will need to spend on facilities’ repairs in the coming years.

The study, which is expected to take about a year and cost just over $1.1 million, will, among other things, “Inventory, catalogue and evaluate the current space utilization of Guilford County Properties,” and “Evaluate the condition of occupied Guilford County buildings to provide an updated capital spending forecast for maintenance and repair.”

In addition, it will generate accurate and up-to-date floor plans for existing county-owned buildings and will map the current use of space by county departments.

Things have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and one of those things is the amount of office space that workers need – since remote work is now more common. That will be taken into account in the new study. One goal will be to, “Develop a plan for growth to strategically project space needs to minimize future space costs and increase effectiveness of County service providers.”