This summer, Guilford County got some very unwelcome air quality test results from the Guilford County jail in downtown Greensboro.

Those tests showed the presence of mold in the jail – and other tests found the same problem in the basement of the county’s building at 201 S. Greene St. in Greensboro.

The county has been dealing with the problem and, at the Thursday, Sept. 15 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the board voted to approve about a cool million that the county needs to address the problem.

These mold remediation project costs are the worst kinds of expenses for the commissioners because they are (1) significant and (2) unforeseen.  As county staff pointed out at the meeting, they were “unknown to the county prior to formulation of the FY2023 budget.”

According to a report from county facilities staff to the commissioners, “Remediation is in progress at both sites and staff have developed long-term mitigation and prevention strategies. Facilities staff estimate the remediation will incur a one-time cost of $950,000.”

The good news is that staff is confident the new remediation and prevention strategies “will mitigate future high-cost remediation needs.”

The project price tag includes air quality testing, ceiling tile replacement and mold removal.

It breaks down to $882,000 for mold at the detention facility and $68,000 to address the problem at the South Greene Street building.

Guilford County Facilities, Parks and Property Management Director Eric Hilton told the Rhino Times that, even though the jail in Greensboro is only 10 years old, it’s not unusual to find mold in a building that age.

“It’s humidity,” he said, adding that mold often results in places where large numbers of people congregate inside.

“You often see it in hotels,” Hilton said.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department will be delighted once the matter is resolved because, ever since mid-summer, jail staff has had to move inmates around within the jail based on where the mold has been discovered and the work is being done.