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Jacksonville International: America's Best Airport?
When CNN produced the Florida Republican Presidential Debate from Jacksonville last month, Erin Burnett, host of that network's "Out Front" reported the next day on her show that "the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)…I think might be America's best airport." She said that the airport "does everything right," citing several of the airport's architectural amenities, including a terminal "full of open spaces and clean bright stores."
For over 30 years, RS&H has provided professional architectural, engineering, and planning services for JAX. As the designer of the renovated concourses, which were completed in 2010, RS&H takes pride in such accolades. To Ms. Burnett's point, the hallmark of the 225,000-square feet concourses are the vaulted barrel ceilings and 800 ft. skylights, which create an open spacious feeling as well as abundant natural light for increased energy efficiency. More importantly, this was accomplished without over resizing the total footprint of the buildings. In addition, RS&H designers worked with concessionaires, including restaurants, news and gift shops, to increase post-security traveler concessions and amenities to surpass the level of passenger service as dictated by Jacksonville Airport Authority. It seems to have paid off as Ms. Burnett said that people at the airport were "friendly and helpful."
And as a bonus, Ms. Burnett complimented the University of North Florida, site of the debate, citing it as a "beautiful campus." RS&H has provided master planning services for UNF since its inception. Among its many campus projects, RS&H served as the consultant on the Student Life Building, the University Center and the Fine Arts Center, site of the Presidential debate.