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Article Published September 13, 2018
Branford Chair 'Rocks' Bradley International Airport
Pam Johnson, Senior Staff Writer

A Branford chair is currently "rocking" Bradley International Airport, and offering travelers a tempting place to rest in the terminal.

Painted with inviting images celebrating the town's shoreline surrounds; the chair, a classic Adirondack rocker, features a sailboat on the Sound at sunset and prominently bears the town's name in Branford High School (BHS) Hornets' red.

One of just nine very unique rockers now on display in the terminal, the Branford chair is part of an artistic collaboration between the airport, which goes by the international handle BDL, and a handful of Connecticut high schools selected to take part in BDL's "usable art" terminal project.

Located in Windsor Locks, BDL partnered with administrators and educators at BHS, Bacon Academy, Berlin High School, East Windsor High School, Granby High School, Haddam-Killingworth High School, Ledyard High School, South Windsor High School and Suffield High School to bring about the project. Each chair was designed and decorated by students to be representative of their town.

The BHS art students involved in developing the Branford chair now on display at BDL are Pam Repnin and Ryan Rathbun, said BHS Fine Arts teacher Donna Roy.

In a brochure available at BDL that discusses the project, BDL is encouraging guests of the terminal to "Explore Connecticut, One Chair at a Time."

BDL Landside Operations/Facilities Coordinator Roz Luongo recently touched base with participating school administrators, including BHS principal Lee Panagoulias Jr., to let them know that the chairs had been recently installed in the terminal, with great success.

"I wish you could hear all the positive remarks from passengers. Most common amongst the comments are how talented the students are to have created such diverse, well thought out and perfectly executed designs," Luongo noted. "I continue to sing the praises of the school administrators and teachers who agreed to take on the extra responsibility of bringing this vision to life."

The Adirondack rocking chair project is one of BDL's many efforts  to encourage travelers to "Love the Journey," which is BDL's tagline. Under new management of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) since 2013, BDL recently achieved five years of year-over-year passenger growth, serving more than 25 million passengers between 2013- 2017.  In 2017, BDL was voted fifth-best airline in the country in Conde Naste Traveler Readers' Choice Awards.