Wife of USF Poly architect fires back at BOG member's criticisms
Yes, there are still ripples coming from last month's big splash of a decision by the Florida Board of Governors to delay the independence of USF Polytechnic.
Now, the wife of the famed Spanish architect hired to design the Lakeland branch's new campus is firing back at board member John Temple, whose closing remarks criticized the firm for what he deemed over-priced extravagance. In urging USF President Judy Genshaft to get her campus "under control," Temple called into question Santiago Calatrava's project cost projections and said he's heard the company has a history of being over-budget.
Robertina Calatrava, who is also Santiago's business manager, disputed all Temple's points. She says in her letter (attached), sent Dec. 6, that the company has designed several college campuses before this one, that "it is simply not true that every building we have ever designed is over budget," and that it is USF -- not Calatrava -- who was responsible for setting the project budget.
"In closing, we do not know the reason for your clear animus, nor do we wish to know," she wrote. "We do not, however, appreciate being used as political fodder in support of your personal agenda. It is disappointing to see the responsibilities of your public office used with such cavalier disregard for facts or even the honest inquiry as to the facts."
You'll remember that the criticisms of the new campus building brought up during that Board of Governors meeting was also fodder for Sen. JD Alexander's call for an investigation into Genshaft. Alexander blasted Genshaft for not speaking up during that discussion, as she signed the contracts hiring Calatrava. Nobody asked, Genshaft has said.