July 05, 2012When Denise Turner Roth was named city manager June 19, she became the boss of 3,000 city employees and the property manager of almost 3 million square feet of indoor, heated and air-conditioned space. Factoring in the parking decks pushes the number to nearly 4 million square feet under roof. Even in the midst of the recession the city continues to add large chunks of space to its assets.
The Greensboro Police Department in particular has been adding space. Twenty years ago just about the entire department was at city hall but since then they've acquired a 60,000-square-foot training facility and three substations: a 90,000-square-foot building at 2602 South Elm-Eugene St. (which it shares with the Water Resources Department and Greensboro Fire Department), a nearly 80,000-square-foot station at 300 Swing Road and a 40,000-square-foot station at 1106 Maple St.
In 2011 the city bought a nearly 100,000-square-foot former IRS building to serve as the new police headquarters. The IRS building only cost the city $1 to buy from the federal government, but the cost of renovations is expected to reach $900,000.
And the Fire Department isn't far behind in floor space growth. Since 2000 the city has added nine fire stations ranging from around 5,000 to 11,000 square feet each for a total of 24 stations. One of the facilities, at 1539 Mt. Hope Church Road, is built on land the city annexed before the building started.
There are also two proposed fire stations for sites at 4306 Burlington Road and 4229 Short Farm Road. Both are in unincorporated Guilford County and will have to be annexed before the fire stations are built. Arrangements with county fire districts have stretched the Fire Department's area of operations roughly 15.5 square miles outside of the city limits.
Libraries also grew dramatically over the last two decades. The city built a new central library in 1995 and has added several new branches since including the Hemphill Library in 2004, the Kathleen Clay Edwards Library in 2004 and the McGirt-Horton Library in 2010. This expansion brought the square footage of Greensboro libraries to almost 140,000. There have also been extensive renovations to Benjamin Branch Library, and the city is preparing to add another branch at Lake Jeanette.
The population of Greensboro has also grown substantially. The population increased by roughly 20 percent to about 270,000 between 2000 and 2012. Likewise, city-owned floor space increased by 506,247 square feet. The Greensboro Sportsplex, which serves as a recreational facility, is the single largest contributor to that figure at 101,000 square feet.