A South Texas medical school, a new station for KUT, an incentive pay plan for University leaders—it’s no wonder Thursday’s UT System Board of Regents meeting has generated such major media attention.
Less widely noticed but still exciting for the Forty Acres was an agenda item that will change campus come 2017. At its meeting, the Board of Regents approved a proposal for a new, $155 million Graduate School of Business building to be located on the southwest corner of campus, where popular campus burger joint Players Restaurant stands today.
The proposed 458,000-square-foot building would house the McCombs School of Business MBA Program and expand conference space for the neighboring AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. The remaining land would be used for a parking garage.
The business graduate programs are currently housed in the Graduate School of Business building, part of a three-building cluster located at 21st and Speedway that’s also home to McCombs’ undergraduate programs.
But, according to McCombs associate dean Eric Hirst, the current space is inadequate for the school’s growing needs.
“We’re not able to do the kind of things we need to do to run a modern MBA program,” Hirst says. “Our current buildings were designed for the type of education where 50 students sit and listen to one person speak. That just doesn’t work well anymore.”
UT purchased the Players lot from its willing sellers for $4 million back in April, much to the dismay of the burger joint’s fans. The University has been authorized to begin negotiations for the purchase of the block’s northwest corner, where sandwich shop Schlotzsky’s currently sits.
The estimated completion date for the new Graduate School of Business building is February 2017.