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RIT, C&S Companies team up on design contest for new concessions area at Syracuse airport

By Eric Reinhardt (


Construction on a new concessions area at Syracuse Hancock International Airport will get underway later this year. The C&S Companies, which is headquartered near the airport, and the Rochester Institute of Technology teamed up on a design contest for the concessions area, the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority said. (Photo by Adam Rombel / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the C&S Companies are working to develop a new food and beverage area at Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

The new concessions area will be located on the first floor of the airport in the Grand Hall, between doors three and four, the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) said.

As part of RIT’s Hyperspace 2022 program, 15 teams of students proposed competing design packages for the space. The packages include layout, ceiling and lighting design, millwork design, color and material selection, and application, signage, and furniture specification, SRAA said.

“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,” Kelly Jahn, a visiting lecturer of interior design in the School of Design in RIT’s College of Art and Design, said in a statement. “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.”

The student teams on Jan. 11 visited the Syracuse airport, saw the space, and interacted 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.

After the Jan. 11 site visit, the teams had until the end of that week to prepare a presentation which included a color poster, a model built to scale, and a five-minute digital presentation. The students presented their ideas at RIT’s University Gallery, Vignelli Center for Design Studies. A panel consisting of representatives from the SRAA and C&S Companies handled the judging.

Construction on the new concessions area — which may include elements of multiple teams’ designs — is currently expected to begin later this year at the airport, SRAA said.