Azziz under fire over plan to expand garage with GRU money - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Azziz under fire over plan to expand garage with GRU money

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Doctor Ricardo Azziz, the president of Georgia Regents University, is under fire by some of his students for planning to build an addition to the garage at his university owned house.

Azziz plans to expand his two car garage to a five car garage; the project would cost GRU about $100,000.

Senior Brandon Barton believes the money could be spent elsewhere.

"I just don't see where it would be right and ethical for him to use that much money for his personal property," said Barton.

Barton says he'll needs some convincing that the university should pay thousands of dollars to build a bigger garage for Azziz.

"If he can come up with a better reason for this I can understand and I could agree with it," he said.

GRU officials say Azziz wants to add to his garage so he will have more setup space for events and more storage room. 

"I can see how he wants to expand the university and so that might be his justification for that. But I think we're not a large enough university yet where he's hosting so many people in his home that he needs a $100,000 garage," said sophomore Emily Worm.

Worm says she'd like to see her school president expand parking on campus instead of at his home.   

"We're spending thousands of dollars to come here and get an education and we're having trouble finding parking sometimes, searching around for parking spaces for 15 minutes, so I think it's silly," she said.

Veracity Construction won the bid for construction at about $75,000. The design contract would cost another $24,000.

Construction hasn't started yet because the proposal still needs approval from the Georgia Board of Regents.

Elizabeth Hurley, a junior at GRU, hopes the Board of Regents rejects the project.

"I wouldn't have expected that from my president, somebody who's supposed to be up there making sure we're all being taken care of with our fees and tuition. You find out he's doing this and it's like okay," Hurley, said.

"That shouldn't be done; it's kind of given a bad taste to all the students here about him," said Barton.

GRU officials weren't available to comment on camera. They say they will ask the Board of Regents for approval after they receive a revised statement on the cost of construction.

They say once they take a look at the revision they will reevaluate and decide if they will move forward or wait to add to the garage next year.

The proposed garage addition comes as the University System of Georgia investigates the use of school resources by Azziz.

Azziz requested the review after he used a GRU bus to shuttle guests to a private wedding that was held at his house a few weeks ago.

 

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