Rowling Hall to open this December

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Photo Credit: Katie Bauer | Daily Texan Staff

Robert B. Rowling Hall, a graduate school for the McComb’s School of Business, is scheduled to open in December 2017. 

The approximately $185 million project started construction in December 2014. The building will span 497,500 square feet and is located on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Guadalupe Street, adjacent to the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. 

Laurie Lentz, communications manager for financial and administrative services, said there will be a large number of new facilities that students and faculty can utilize. 

“The building will have multiple types of classrooms, all outfitted with the latest AV,” Lentz said in an email. “It will also have a central atrium that will promote overlapping communities, a workout facility, glass elevators and a parking garage.” 

Tina Mabley, the assistant dean and director of Texas Masters in Business Administration, said Rowling Hall’s location near the AT&T Center will help advance the education of graduate students. 

“We’re situated right around the corner of the 40 Acres between downtown and campus,” Mabley said. “We see Austin as a laboratory for our students, and we engage with a lot of the business community, so the location creates a nice access point between the AT&T Conference Center and campus.” 

Finance senior Maysa Alqaisi said having another building for graduate business students will create better experiences for all McCombs students. 

“It does sometimes feel a bit congested trying to share the building with not only other undergraduate students but also MBA students,” Alqaisi said. “Having all those students go to Rowling Hall and having the McCombs building all to ourselves can create a more educational experience for McCombs students beyond the one we already have.” 

Last year, Alqaisi was an undergraduate McCombs representative in the Senate of College Councils where post-construction plans were discussed with David Platt, associate dean of undergraduate programs. 

“We were talking about what would happen after Rowling Hall is built and McCombs is left for undergraduate students,” Alqaisi said. “Dean Platt was actually talking about changing a lot of the rooms and making them more accessible to students. So I think this renovation of McCombs is going to be really exciting for students.” 

Mabley said she hopes undergraduate students will see Rowling Hall as a future home. 

“In the Red McCombs building, we have undergraduates who come into the business program, and Rowling Hall will give them an aspirational place to come for a second degree,” Mabley said.