SYR Taps RIT Students to Shape New Concessions Offering

Syracuse, New York –The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) announced today an exciting partnership with RIT’s College of Art and Design and C&S Companies to develop a new food and beverage area at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR). The new concessions area will be located on the first floor of the airport in the Grand Hall, between doors three and four.

As part of the college’s Hyperspace 2022 Program, 15 teams of students proposed competing complete design packages for the space, including layout, ceiling and lighting design, millwork design, color, and material selection and application, signage, and furniture specification.

“The Pre-Security Food and Beverage Installation project at Syracuse Hancock International Airport is a perfect example of the academic opportunities and challenges we regularly bring to our interior design program students to unravel,” said Kelly Jahn, a visiting lecturer of interior design in the School of Design in RIT’s College of Art and Design. “In addition to considering ongoing safety, security, and health concerns, RIT students were required to address the human psychology and anxiety associated with air travel as well as a study of traffic patterns, maintenance issues, and materials durability in a high-volume public space. Their solutions successfully balanced the needs of the client, the public, and tradespeople who will need to maintain the space.​”

Last Tuesday, January 11th, the student teams embarked on a field trip to SYR where they had the opportunity to see the space and interact with key members of the airport and C&S teams. The students reviewed the goals and objectives of the project, the vending machines to be incorporated, and the plumbing and electrical requirements for the space.

“It has been such a thrill seeing the fresh perspective these astute young adults brought to the project,” said SRAA Chief Commercial Officer Jason Mehl. “We can’t help but walk away feeling like this is a real ‘win-win.’ The students have embraced the opportunity to tackle a real-world problem and the SRAA has taken another step in improving the pre-security guest experience.  My hat is off to Linda Ryan, SRAA Director of Business Development, and to Kelly Jahn, RIT College of Art and Design Visiting Lecturer, for their foresight, hard work and commitment to making this idea become a reality!” 

After Tuesday’s site visit, the teams had until Friday evening to prepare a presentation which included a color poster, a model built to scale, and a five-minute digital presentation. The presentations – which took place at RIT’s University Gallery, Vignelli Center for Design Studies – were judged by a panel consisting of representatives from the SRAA and C&S Companies.

“C&S was very excited to participate in this real-world learning opportunity for the future architects and engineers currently pursuing their degrees at RIT,” said C&S Companies Senior Principal Architect Michael LaMontagne. “We are thankful for our longtime teammate of SYR in bringing us on board to assist the week-long design process both in person and virtually.  Seeing the ideas generated by the students in such a short amount of time was great and their presentations show that the future talent pool of the profession is in great hands!”

Construction on the new concessions area – which may include elements of multiple teams’ designs – is currently expected to begin later this year at SYR.

For more information about food and beverage options at SYR, please visit our Shopping, Dining, and Services page.

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