UGA president's home will get $1 million upgrade for handicap-accessibility

University officials said the bulk of the expense will go to make the historic building, which is used for entertaining, more accessible to the disabled.

"We've had some long-delayed (American Disabilities Act) issues," said UGA spokesman Tom Jackson.  Money for the repairs is coming from the university's major repairs and renovations budget.

UGA President Michael Adams could stay in the home rent free, but Adams moved his family to another home in Clarke County nine years ago, Jackson said.

Adams gets a $19,400 housing allowance from the state as part of his $604,864 compensation package.

University presidents have been able to live at the mansion at 570 Prince Ave. since 1949. That's when a Columbus foundation donated money to help the University System Board of Regents acquire the property, said the Athens Banner-Herald.

Adams hosted 20 special events at the home in 2009, according to university records obtained by the Athens newspaper.

The events included pre-football game receptions, a coffee for the University Women's Club and dinners for the Arch Foundation and the UGA Research Foundation.

"I'd like to know how much money we've raised in that house in the last 13 years," Adams said.

The house and 5-acre grounds are valued at $4.7 million on Clarke County tax records.

Some $700,000 will go toward installing accessible bathrooms, elevators and widening doors, school officials said.

The remaining money will be used to build out a service kitchen for caterers working at social functions in the home.

Looking after it however, has proven to be pricey, according to the Athens newspaper. UGA officials documented about $220,000 in expenses. They include $60,000 for two housekeepers, $79,310 for three security guards and $996 for an alarm system.

Staff writer Marcus Garner contributed to this report

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