FSU shield




Message from Dean Michael Hartline - July 2018

Jul 02, 2018

Legacy Hall key to college’s continued success


Today marks the beginning of my fourth year as dean of our college. Over the past three years, we have seen great student achievements, faculty accomplishments, new academic programs, improved rankings and incredible support from our alumni and friends. Together, we’ve come a long way in a short period of time. Thanks to all of you for your investments in the success of our college!

This next year marks a real turning point for our college as we are on the cusp of a great transformation along the path to preeminence. One of the major factors in that transformation is Legacy Hall, the new home for the College of Business. We have been working in earnest since 2013 to establish the strategic visioning and planning for our new home, and for the last six months, we have been hard at work on the tactical phase. We have worked alongside our colleagues in the FSU Facilities Department and our architectural firm, Goody Clancy. We have visited other business schools, talked with faculty and staff members and students, and engaged alumni at “Meet the Architect” events in six cities: Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Tallahassee. We have also shared the story of Legacy Hall with countless other alumni and friends in a variety of settings.

With that backdrop, I want to share answers to the most common questions we receive about Legacy Hall:

Why do we need a new building?

The college’s original building (Rovetta Business Building) was completed in 1958 at a time when the college enrolled about 800 students. In 1984, an annex was added (Rovetta Building Annex), and the entire building was dedicated as the Charles A. Rovetta Business Building. At that time, the college enrolled 3,000 students. Today, the college enrolls roughly 6,400 students and is growing at about 1 percent annually. We have no more room to add students, faculty or staff members. In addition, the instructional needs of the college have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Legacy Hall will resolve these challenges and dramatically increase and enhance collaboration and networking among students, the faculty, alumni and visitors. Students and faculty members will enjoy breakout spaces, study spaces, new laboratories and advanced technology in flexible classroom arrangements. Legacy Hall will also offer independent meeting and event space to host the networking and educational programs desperately needed by our students.

Other than space and design, why do we need a new building now?

In a word? Competition. The competition to recruit and retain great students and great faculty is never ending. New buildings often make the difference in persuading the right people to join a college. In addition, other major universities around the country have recently built or broken ground on new business school facilities.  Here is a list:


Project Cost

Project Size

Project Status

Florida State University

(6,500 students)

$88 million

210,000 ft2


University of Florida

(6,300 students)

$22.8 million

57,000 ft2

Undergraduate Wing

Completed 2015

Clemson University

(4,200 students)

$87 million

162,000 ft2

Under Construction

University of Georgia

(8,300 students)

$140 million

286,391 ft2

Under Construction

University of Kentucky

(3,400 students)

$65 million

204,000 ft2

Completed 2016

University of Kansas

(1,500 students)

$70.5 million

166,500 ft2

Completed 2016

Kansas State University

(2,700 students)

$60 million

160,143 ft2

Completed 2016

University of South Carolina

(6,300 students)

$106.5 million

251,891 ft2

Completed 2014

Auburn University

(5,100 students)

$40 million

100,000 ft2

Graduate Wing

Under Construction

Oklahoma State University

(5,600 students)

$63 million

144,000 ft2

Completed 2018

University of Nebraska

(4,100 students)

$84 million

240,000 ft2

Completed 2018

University of Utah

(4,500 students)

$72 million

188,000 ft2

Completed 2013

University of Texas

(12,790 students)

$186 million

504,000 ft2

Completed 2018

These new facilities give these business schools a distinct advantage in recruiting top students and a world-class faculty. As a result, we fall further behind these schools every year that Legacy Hall remains unbuilt.

Where will Legacy Hall be located?

Legacy Hall will be located due south of the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on the corner of West Gaines and Martin Luther King Street. This location marks the southeast corner of the FSU campus and is adjacent to the Arena District – a planned mixed-used development containing a hotel, conference center, restaurants and retail stores. This area coincides with recent developments along the Gaines Street corridor, the “Madison Mile” and the College Town District. The synergy among these areas makes for an ideal location for the College of Business.

But, isn’t that far away from the heart of campus?

Actually, the distance from Legacy Hall to the Westcott Building is the same as the distance from Rovetta to Westcott. Think of the new location as a peninsula rather than an island. Plus, the university plans to expand main campus toward that area to fill in over time.

What about parking?

The university is conducting a master planning study to look at issues such as parking, transportation, and commuter/pedestrian logistics in the greater Arena District area. The most likely scenario calls for a surface parking lot immediately to the west of our site; however, the construction of a parking garage has not been ruled out. Interestingly, parking garages are quite expensive (as much as $20,000 per space) and may not be needed in a future likely filled with autonomous vehicles.

What will Legacy Hall look like?  Will it incorporate design aspects from main campus?  Will it carry over any design elements from Rovetta?

Legacy Hall will absolutely incorporate Jacobian (or Collegiate Gothic) design elements from main campus. This includes the traditional red brick and beige adornments that you see across campus. However, designing an academic building near downtown (near state government buildings) and near several mixed-use developments is a challenging task. How do you clearly mark the southeast corner of the FSU campus and still blend in with your surroundings? Here is an early rendering of the southeast elevation:

Legacy Hall SE

Two aspects of Rovetta are planned for Legacy Hall. The first is a signature staircase to pay homage to the outside stairs of the original Rovetta Business Building. We know that many alumni met their spouses on these steps, and we want to incorporate a networking/collaboration aspect to the main staircase inside Legacy Hall. The second aspect is “The Wall” that sits alongside the walkway from the Rovetta Building Annex to the Union. Many students past and present have used “The Wall” as a place to hang out and talk with friends. We plan to incorporate a networking/collaboration wall into the design of Legacy Hall.

How will Legacy Hall help in our push for preeminence?

In addition to recruiting and retaining great students and faculty members, Legacy Hall will enhance our preeminence in many ways. New spaces such as a state-of-the-art trading room, business labs and advanced technological spaces will allow more students to build tangible, marketable skills. Legacy Hall will also allow the college to expand the networking and career development opportunities for students, particularly our professional development programs. Higher quality graduates will entice larger, higher-paying companies to increase their recruiting efforts at the college. This is important as the perceptions of corporate recruiters are a key part of university and college rankings. In short, the more we strengthen the “people” aspect of our preeminence, the more preeminent we will become.

Further, Legacy Hall will give each of the college’s institutes and centers the needed space to create more programs and research activities that will engage the business community. This includes an expanded executive education program that will attract business executives and trade association members from the downtown area and the surrounding region. Likewise, the synergy created with a new conference center and hotel in the Arena District will allow both the college and the district to draw significant conferences and conventions to the area.

What will happen with the Rovetta Building once the college relocates to Legacy Hall?

The Rovetta Building will be repurposed for use by another academic unit on campus. Several departments and colleges need expanded space for their students, faculty and academic programs. Some colleges are spread across campus and would benefit from being located together in one building.

What is the timeline for the design and construction of Legacy Hall?

The process to find and engage a construction manager is underway and should be completed by August. The advanced schematic phase of Legacy Hall will be completed by September, at which time work on the construction documents will begin. That process will continue until mid-2019. Assuming continued funding from the state and successful fundraising, we plan to break ground at some point during fall 2019. Once started, it will take roughly 22 months to complete construction. On the current schedule, we should move in during late summer 2021 and hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony that fall.

How can I get involved?

A project of this scope and importance only comes along once in a lifetime. This is our opportunity to reinforce the upward trajectory of the college and make a lasting difference for generations of future Seminole business graduates.

We hope all College of Business alumni will get involved by considering a gift to help make Legacy Hall a reality. Feel free to contact me (mhartline@business.fsu.edu or (850) 644-4405) or David VanLone, our chief development officer (dvanlone@business.fsu.edu or (850) 294-1193). All donations are appreciated!

In my next update this October, I will share design schematics and provide more information about our progress. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy summer.  See you this fall!



Michael D. Hartline






, 821 Academic Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110
Tel: 850-644-3090 Fax: 850-644-0915

Contact the Webmaster

Copyright © 2018, Florida State University - College of Business, All Rights Reserved. Accredited by AACSB International.