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Garage addition at home of Georgia Regents President Ricardo Azziz planned without state approval

Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:18 PM
Last updated Sunday, April 28, 2013 1:29 AM
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Georgia Regents Uni­versity has awarded a contract to build a $75,500 addition to the president’s garage without seeking the required approval for construction from the Board of Regents, officials said.

Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz is planning to add a three-car carport beside a two-car garage at his state-owned home.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz is planning to add a three-car carport beside a two-car garage at his state-owned home.

The school sought bids in February for the project, a three-car carport to be added to the side of the two-car garage at the Augusta home of GRU President Ricardo Azziz, according to documents obtained by The Augusta Chronicle. The contract was awarded to the low bid – $75,500 – submitted by Veracity Construction of Thomson, GRU spokeswoman Christen Carter said. In addition to the estimated construction costs – which have since increased by as much as $50,000, GRU has agreed to pay Cheatham, Fletcher, Scott Architects more than $23,000 for design work.

All this occurred before anyone sought necessary approval of the project from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

According to university system policy governing university presidents’ homes, any project other than routine maintenance “shall be submitted for review and approval by the Chancellor and the Board of Regents. Any subsequent changes in the scope of the project or budget shall be similarly submitted for review and approval.”

John Millsaps, the spokesman for the chancellor and the board, said state officials were unaware of any such projects and no work had been approved to modify the GRU president’s home at 920 Milledge Road. Millsaps said such a project would have to be submitted to the board to move forward.

This comes while the board is preparing to conduct an inquiry into the use of college resources by Azziz for a recent family wedding.

As of Friday, GRU had been told by university system officials that the policy governing the president’s home applied to the carport project.

Carter said the project has yet to break ground, so there is still time to seek the board’s approval.

“Of course we will need to receive a proposal before any work can be done,” Millsaps said Thursday.

The 100-year-old home known as Twin Gables is located in the Summerville Historic District. Revisions to the architectural designs requested by the Augusta-Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission could push the carport project over budget, which could result in delays, Carter said.

“If the changes exceed $50,000, (University) Fa­cilities will need to delay start of the project and revisit the scope and budget next fiscal year,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Carter said the purpose of the carport addition is to provide space for setup and support for events.

“The residence is used for functions all throughout the year,” she said. “It is our hope that we can become more efficient and have a better set up for future events.”

As for state approval, Cart­er said GRU officials thought that such approvals were unnecessary for projects budgeted less than $1 million.

Another Board of Regents policy allows the state university system’s chief of facilities to delegate authority to approve up to $1 million for projects that “are in accordance with the accepted campus master plan.”

She said GRU officials were operating under that policy when the contract was awarded. She said as far as they knew, Phil Howard, the vice president of GRU’s Facilities Service, had the authority to sign off on the Twin Gables project, without state approval.

Georgia Regents University president's home addition by Connor Threlkeld

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Sweet son
10117
Points
Sweet son 04/27/13 - 07:53 pm
11
1
Incredible!

Thanks AC for putting King Cool's crap in the street. Keep it up! He is digging a hole from which we hope he can't climb out of!!

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 04/27/13 - 09:02 pm
10
0
Christen Carter often says in

Christen Carter often says in all matters far as she or they knew, I've noticed.

PUPPYMOMMA
1344
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 04/27/13 - 09:40 pm
2
0
Doesn't everyone need a

Doesn't everyone need a $150,000 carport to park their shuttlebus?

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 04/27/13 - 09:41 pm
0
0
Carter doesn't seem to have a
Unpublished

Carter doesn't seem to have a clue. Ignorance is not a defense. As far as Azziz, that dude thinks his power is unlimited around here. He has caused nothing but trouble and he and Obama have 1 huge thing in common: they both love to spend taxpayers money without their consent.

Cynical old woman
1099
Points
Cynical old woman 04/27/13 - 10:37 pm
11
0
Keep the shovels out

There's more dirt I'm sure!

nocnoc
41485
Points
nocnoc 04/27/13 - 10:43 pm
11
0
How deep of a Hole must this Bozo dig

before he is removed for office?

Now he is acting like he OWNS the house and can do what he wishes without State approval.

How Much Is Enough?

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 04/27/13 - 10:41 pm
8
0
The Azziz don't need

... no steenking approvals! That would be uncool!

LillyfromtheMills
13022
Points
LillyfromtheMills 04/27/13 - 11:43 pm
7
1
I am totally embarrassed

By his actions. How dare he? And how dare he take away Augusta's name! What is his agenda? Embarrass Augusta?

justputtin
1384
Points
justputtin 04/27/13 - 11:59 pm
1
0
Come on!

When does he finally cross the point of no return? He is an embarrassment and would be ashamed if he wasn't so arrogant. We all know there is more to come with his type. Entitled, holier than thou, smarter than everyone. Oh yeah, cooler also!

itsanotherday1
42295
Points
itsanotherday1 04/28/13 - 01:38 am
11
5
Unfreakingbelievable...

I haven't been as big a critic as some, because some of the criticism is people resisting change; but his arrogance in living high off the taxpayer hog is exceeded only by that pair in the Whitehouse.

agustinian
689
Points
agustinian 04/28/13 - 06:47 am
11
0
Dr. A -- Say It Ain't So

One risk of surrounding yourself with your own appointees, is your staff is incapable of telling you "No." You are reaping the fruits of a staff filled with "yes-men" -- excuse me, let me make that pc, "yes-persons."

CobaltGeorge
155742
Points
CobaltGeorge 04/28/13 - 07:43 am
5
6
Augustians,

You all should be proud to have your own Clone of the SMNCICBHO in your city☻☻ ☻

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 04/28/13 - 07:53 am
8
13
I can already see the Augusta
Unpublished

I can already see the Augusta Chronicle headline tomorrow: "GRU Purchased Toilet Paper Found in Azziz Private Bathroom"

my.voice
4731
Points
my.voice 04/28/13 - 04:50 pm
8
0
Azziz to the BOR: "oopsie"No

Azziz to the BOR: "oopsie"

No matter what happens or doesn't happen, we've still lost ASU and MCG forever. That breaks my heart.

And how in HECK does an architect bank $23,000 on a $75,000 addition?

nocnoc
41485
Points
nocnoc 04/28/13 - 09:00 am
8
0
palmetto1008 - you brought it up

What about the MCG housekeeping personnel if any he uses?

Or does he have to pay for them out of his $600++K salary?

simp308z
22
Points
simp308z 04/28/13 - 09:02 am
12
0
Over $75,000 for a garage,

Over $75,000 for a garage, are you serious?

nocnoc
41485
Points
nocnoc 04/28/13 - 09:06 am
7
0
palmetto1008 - you brought it up #2

I think the cheap general patient toilet paper at MCG is too rough for him.

But!(pun intended) because he is always desiccating on the Augusta, its name & history he surely must order extra soft for his rich, delicate tail.

Question: Is it state approved?

LocalGirl
317
Points
LocalGirl 04/28/13 - 09:08 am
3
0
Some People's Houses

Some people's entire houses ost $75,000 or less. That is ridiculous for a carport/garage.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 04/28/13 - 09:08 am
14
0
Augustinian at 6:47 pointed

Augustinian at 6:47 pointed out the problem. He surrounds himself with yes people. That's a particularly bad idea when you work for the government and are new to a school and area.

JRC2024
8606
Points
JRC2024 04/28/13 - 09:32 am
11
0
Many have lived in that house

Many have lived in that house before him and a two car garage was enough for them. If it is just he and his wife that live there then that is enough for them. The others can park outside like the previous residents.

triscuit
2997
Points
triscuit 04/28/13 - 09:33 am
3
8
His home is owned by GRU. It

His home is owned by GRU. It is a campus property. And as such, it is maintained by GRU housekeeping and groundskeepers, just as all GRU building are. No special favors there

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 04/28/13 - 09:35 am
0
0
WOW!
Unpublished

Can anyone say narcissist?

Lee Benedict
1572
Points
Lee Benedict 04/28/13 - 10:30 am
9
0
Boycott GRU until

Aziz is gone. I am PhD-shopping at the moment and have decided to not consider ASU. The Board of Regents HAS GOT TO KNOW about Aziz's abrasiveness, arrogance, and overall tyrranical attitude, yet it chooses to keep him on board. Well, until it gets hit in ye olde pocketbook, it will continue to gloss over everything and when it does "investigate" (which wastes more money), it will merely go through the motions that will conclude with a wrist-slap...if that. So I say, do not apply to ASU...my bad, GRU, do not pay the application fee, do not go to events on campus, sever ties. While we're at it, do the same for ALL schools governed by the Board of Regents, and maybe, just maybe, we will learn that Aziz will have taken a job elsewhere or will have resigned for "health" or "personal reasons". A month later we may very well be informed that he received a million five severance...but he'll be gone and ASU and MCG will move forward.

carcraft
25350
Points
carcraft 04/28/13 - 10:43 am
7
0
I am all for it, as long as

I am all for it, as long as it keeps the name "the Augusta State Garage" Couldn't tolerate " The Georgia Regents Garage".

...point to ponder
743
Points
...point to ponder 04/28/13 - 10:53 am
11
0
..Board of Regents....are you alive?

Are you guys and gals so into yourselves and your other business interest that Augusta , Ga isn't even on the radar?

Are all of you brain dead or just absent without cause to watch over things?

How was this man selected for this position? Who selected him? Who checked his background... Psychological or otheiwide?

What an embarrassment?

dsterling9
773
Points
dsterling9 04/28/13 - 10:55 am
10
0
CARPORT

It is past time for a formal investigation into the improper use of taxpayer funds and property by those responsible at GRU. Dr. Azziz is beginning to act like a lot of long term politicians. The Board of Regents, Dr. Azziz, and others are responsible to ensure funding and resources are used properly. I love the statement, "...GRU officials thought that such approvals (board) were unnecessary for projects budgeted less then $1 million." 1 million...this needs to be revised immediately and decreased to $500.00 (five hundred dollars)!

storiesihaveread
358
Points
storiesihaveread 04/28/13 - 10:58 am
2
0
LOL

@ carcraft

OnTheHill1
345
Points
OnTheHill1 04/28/13 - 11:09 am
8
0
Interpreting the Policy to His Advantage

The article states, "As for state approval, Cart­er said GRU officials thought that such approvals were unnecessary for projects budgeted less than $1 million."

Another Board of Regents policy allows the state university system’s chief of facilities to delegate authority to approve up to $1 million for projects that “are in accordance with the accepted campus master plan.”

Azziz interprets the policy to his advantage, but more telling is that he views his "limit to buy" unilaterally as $999,999.99. Any expenditure less than this limit is pocket change to him, the $45.5K ignored study, the raises he granted his cronies, his Twin Gables dinners.

This potentially $148,500 ($75,500 + $50,000 + $23,000) car port is simply parking for his oft hired caterers, "Carter said the purpose of the carport addition is to provide space for setup and support for events."

Perhaps this $999,999.99 buying limit worked in California, but not in cash strapped Georgia, when GRU employees have not received raises in years, layoffs occur and the administration whines about no money.

AC, thanks for the timely publishing of this expose, Rick McKee's satirical cartoon and Silvia Cooper's City Ink during the alumni weekend. These past ASU and MCG graduates must be asking, "Why is news about my Alma Mater all about the President's frequent faux pas and not about the institution's growth, educational excellence and research capability?"

gaptomom
143
Points
gaptomom 04/28/13 - 01:01 pm
4
0
Keep on Digging

This is getting good (well, in a sick sort of way) so AC keep on digging. Heck, even use one of those gold plated shovels that are around for ceremonial digs...only the best for Dr. Azziz. Before they add onto the president's house perhaps they should take a look at some of the office buildings which are not Americans With Disabilities Act complient on the Frog Hollow Campus.

curly123053
4570
Points
curly123053 04/28/13 - 01:33 pm
4
0
Arrogant

All I have to say is unbelievable!! That much money for a carport is totally ludicrous! His Highness is really a spoiled arrogant egotistical.......put your own title in there. He is taking care of his WANTS over his NEEDS!....I do predict that when Zizzzz is gone we will see a new move to rename the university and put Augusta back in the name.

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