Come Sit With Us

OCC students built a bench at the corner of Westcott and South Beech Streets as part of a Service-Learning project.

Students enrolled in OCC’s Architectural Technology and Interior Design majors have made their mark in Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood. Over the course of two weekends they cleaned up the corner of Westcott and South Beech Streets and built and installed a bench there as part of a service-learning project. “The neighborhood lacked a place for people to sit down,” said Assistant Professor Diana Jaramillo. “We wanted to build something the community could use that is functional.”

Professor Diana Jaramillo

The bench was designed by Jaramillo and entered into a contest being put on by the Westcott Neighborhood Association. When her design was selected, she turned the installation into a service-learning opportunity for her students. “It was a very meaningful project for us. As we were building it community members were coming up, asking us questions and getting excited about this addition to our community,” said student Cody Musso, a 2018 graduate of Auburn High School. “It was a rewarding experience,” added Kaitlyn Iordan, a 2018 graduate of Baldwinsville High School. “It was fun working with other students and rewarding to know something we worked on is there for people to enjoy.”

The completion of the bench and the lessons learned during the project were exactly what Jaramillo was hoping for. She said it’s important for students to know it takes a team effort to achieve success. “Whatever you dream of building, it can come true but it’s never accomplished by just one person. Architecture is often seen as, ‘who is this famous architect?’ It’s a monumental team of engineers, designers, clients and contractors that make a building happen. Our bench took about 20 people working on it between design and construction. You can never do it alone. You are going to have to work with other people.”

OCC offers degrees in both Architectural Technology and Interior Design. You can learn more about the majors at these websites:

Architectural Technology

Interior Design

OCC students built this bench at Westcott and South Beech Streets as part of a Service-Learning project.

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