Guilford County government owns a lot of buildings, parking lots, land, structures, office space and other properties, and, on Monday, Sept. 13, the county sent out a request for help in creating a Guilford County Comprehensive Facility Plan. 

The county is seeking a consulting partner for the long-range plan and the first step was this week’s request for “Letters of Interest and Qualifications for Architecture Services” – which is also now known as Guilford County Bid 20036.

According to the request that went out Monday, the goal of the major undertaking is to provide Guilford County government with “a comprehensive understanding as to the condition of our facility portfolio alongside our current and future needs for building space.”

Guilford County, which got a new county manager at the start of 2021, has a lot of space in its facilities that’s clearly underused – one of the best examples being one-half of the prime downtown Greensboro real estate on the first floor of the Old Guilford County Court House.  Nearly half of the first floor of that building is filled with county commissioners’ offices that never ever get used.

The county has also added a lot of new facilities in recent years, such as a mental health center, a new animal shelter and a new Emergency Services maintenance facility.

In the last decade, the county has also shifted a lot of workers from one building to another.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said earlier this summer that he really wanted the board and county staff to take a look at how the county is using the space in its facilities and find ways to make that use more efficient.

 According to the county’s request, the comprehensive plan will include “facility conditions assessments alongside a space management plan for approximately 2.5 million square feet in multiple buildings.”

 County officials will use the information to develop a 15-year capital plan.

In addition, the chosen firm will also conduct a space management study in order to create a long-term space management plan.

Interested takers must respond to the county by Thursday, Oct. 7.

County officials want to see companies apply that have experience in “conditions assessment,” and the county’s request also specifically encourages responses from minority-owned firms.