More details are emerging about Guilford County’s new $14.5 million mental health services building that the county is planning to build on Third Street in Greensboro near the intersection of East Wendover Avenue and Summit Avenue.

Guilford County needs to replace the current behavioral health services center at 201 N. Eugene St. in downtown Greensboro since it is selling that property to the City of Greensboro. Thursday, Nov. 15 the Board of Commissioners voted to hire an architectural firm to conduct preliminary design work on the project. Documents related to that work revealed the location in Maple Professional Park.

Guilford County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Alan Branson said this week that the county would likely have several announcements regarding the project in early December. Branson also said the county would have preferred to keep the location quiet until that time.

Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said plans call for a single-story building of approximately 35,000 square feet.

“That square footage could change,” Lawing said.

Part of the project’s design phase will include a precise needs assessment, and those findings could lead to a change in the building’s size.

Lawing said that if the county starts work “immediately” the design phase could be complete by August 2019.   He also said that, if the county allows for a 12-month construction period starting in August, the building would be ready in plenty of time for mental health staff to move in before the county has to be out of the current building on North Eugene Street.

“We will need roughly two years to have a new facility in place based on our agreement with the city,” Lawing said.

The Board of Commissioners has allocated $999,500 to pay for the design phase but hasn’t determined where the remaining millions to construct the building would come from.

The county hired Teague, Freyaldenhoven and Freyaldenhoven Architects and Planners, LLC, a Greensboro firm, to do the design work. That agreement calls for the firm to perform architectural design work and civil, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineering work for the new building.

Guilford County staff is recommending that this behavioral health facility be constructed using the “Construction Manager at Risk” method, which could limit the county’s financial liability if there are cost overruns on the project.