On Thursday, April 1, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to put nearly $100,000 of new taxpayer money into repairs for a building that’s been a notorious money pit for well over a decade.
The price keeps going up on Guilford County’s building at 325 E. Russell Ave. in High Point – now known as the Langford Building. Guilford County purchased the building in 2008 to house its social services operations in High Point as well as other county functions.
In 1994, the building, which was built in 1916, sold for $40,000 as part of a bankruptcy sale. However, when Guilford County purchased it 14 years later, the county paid the astonishing price of $8.14 million.
And that was just the start of the cost to the county’s taxpayers. Over the last 12 years, Guilford County has pumped money into the Langford Building, which has had problems with leaks, asbestos, a faulty roof, ants, rodents, underground contamination, acoustic issues and more.
In the most recent round of spending on the building, the county has been paying to repair brick and mortar walls needed to alleviate flooding in the building’s lower levels. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners had approved a contract with Frank L. Blum Construction for about $907,000 for the repair of that building as well as some work on the county’s courthouse in downtown High Point.
While the work was being done on the Langford Building, however, more issues were discovered, and now the county is amending that project and adding $96,262, which will raise the cost of the current work to over $1 million.
According to the contract amendment, several new problems were discovered. For instance, “As the demolition was proceeding at the southeast corner of the Langford Building, for individual brick replacement, it was noted that the infill brick at that location (both floors) was not adequately secured to the building structure and there was not a moisture barrier present.”