Old Guilford County Jail to be renovated, converted into office space

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Offices in closets, water leaking from the walls and issues with air flow are some of the working conditions people are dealing with at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office administrative building. Now, millions of taxpayer dollars are going to change that.

A few weeks ago, county commissioners approved a project that would renovate the old Guilford County Jail into office space. The project will likely cost around $14 million.

Staff at the sheriff’s office say the cost is worth it.

“My office is on lower level within the Otto Zenke building and actually my office is converted from a conference room,” Lt. Daryl Loftis said. “It is a distraction because people know there is an extra conference room within this building, quite often people will use that while I'm trying to get my daily duties done.”

Capt. Chris Martin at the sheriff’s office has been working to make the move happen. He said it wasn’t hard to find the perfect space. The old Guilford County Jail has been mostly empty for nearly six years after the new jail opened. Only a few small departments were on the bottom floors.

“As of this week we have completely vacated the building,” Martin said. “We are re-purposing the building, that's saving taxpayer money because we don't have to build another building we just have to renovate the one we already have.”

Martin hopes demolition inside will start in September.

“The entire building will be completely gutted and office space will go back in where part of the jail was,” Martin said.

All administrative staff will move into the building.

“Just makes things easier to manage if we are all in one building,” Martin said.

There will also be room to grow.

“We need to plan for future growth of the department,” Martin said.

Once the renovation starts, Martin says it will take more than a year to complete.

The current administrative space will be demolished and turned into a parking lot.