Georgia Regents University has redone five gateway signs on the Summerville campus that were installed last year without the promised word “Augusta.”
Adding the seven letters to five signs cost almost $5,000 – $2,200 to prepare the stone and design new stencils and $2,600 for letters and installation, which would have been incurred had Augusta been included at an earlier stage, said spokesperson Christen Carter.
More gateway signs to be installed on the Summerville, Health Sciences and Forest Hills campuses are still in the design phase, Carter said.
The $3.8 million project approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents last year also includes flags, posters and interior signs that will bear the name.
Many in the community were outraged in December when new signs appeared without the word Augusta. This came after school officials last summer revealed blueprints showing “Georgia Regents University Augusta” would replace “Augusta State University” on the brick pillars at the school’s entrance on Walton Way and other entry points.
The signs were supposed to be part of a compromise made in 2012 between President Ricardo Azziz and members of Save the A, a group of business people and community members opposed to the chosen name of the consolidated university.
Azziz said the GRU name would remain but that Georgia Regents University Augusta would be used by athletic teams and in the logo.
After public outcry that signs erected strayed from the original blueprints, university officials announced in late January they would redo the signs.
Save the A Chairman Nick Evans said he still does not believe university officials have lived up to their promise despite the sign change.
The agreement reached in 2012 provided that Augusta would be featured “prominently” in promotional materials and the logo.
Evans said TV commercials he has seen buries the word Augusta or doesn’t feature it at all. He said school vehicles such as the GRU Jaguar Express Bus also downplay Augusta, which doesn’t live up to the spirit of the agreement.
“I still don’t think they’re doing everything they agreed to in their compromise,” he said. “There’s still a lot of things they need to review. It’s more than signage. It’s all marketing materials. Why do they keep doing things wrong and then have to redo them? Why can’t they just do it right the first time?”