During his monthly press conference, UGA President Michael Adams talked about budget woes. He talked about how well-qualified and diverse the freshman class is. And he answered about Legion Pool, the historic pool built by the American Legion and the WPA in the 1930s. He seemed a little peeved to have to talk about Legion Pool, noting that more has been written about the pool than about the looming budget crisis that could cripple the university.
These are some of the highlights of what he said:
* "This whole issue has gotten blown out of proportion," he said. The negative reaction of many in the Athens community to the demolition plans surprised him. What you have is an outdated pool on valuable real estate. It's right in the middle of campus, where academic space or residence halls can go.
* The Regents have a new process for making decisions about demolitions on campuses. UGA has to give them a three-month warning before taking any actions. When the university lays out that framework, "the horse gets out of the barn" and everyone knows their plans.
* The new pool's design is just preliminary, because nothing has been finalized. In fact, UGA officials haven't decided if they will move forward with the demolition plan. The Board of Regents doesn't have Legion Pool on its October agenda. "We have not made a decision on whether to go forward with that," Adams said. "There are pros and cons."
* No date has been set for a public hearing. There will be a public hearing but it will be "later than we anticipated," he said.
* The numbers which various publications have been quoting for months are just "preliminary numbers." Reporters noted that the numbers--$2.6 million to build a new, smaller pool at Lake Herrick vs. ~$500,000 to repair Legion Pool--come from documents sent by UGA officials to the Board of Regents, notifying them of their plans to demolish the pool.