For the second year, The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) has partnered with Farmington High School in a design challenge that offers a real world project experience for engineering students at the school. This year’s challenge involved redesigning the Sleep Disorders Center.

The students were tasked with relocating the center to the first floor of the existing center, providing an easily accessible reception area, as well as private rooms for patients. Weeks earlier, Christine Sniadack, Facilities Project Manager, and Donna Cone, Supervisor of the Neurodiagnostic Lab at HOCC, visited the classroom to debrief the students about the project expectations. The students presented their proposals at a design symposium on May 28, showcasing their findings and recommendations to faculty and Hartford HealthCare leadership.

In 17 small groups, the students worked to reconfigure the space, making accommodations for patient arrival and check-in, comfortable sleep rooms and private bathrooms. Students were attentive to every detail, from plumbing considerations to wall paint.

The work was impressive, with some students executing a Gantt chart to track their activities and project timeline. Students shared insights on obstacles they faced during the process, reflecting budgetary limitations and working together as a team to formulate the best possible schematic for the redesigned space.

“The students were very engaged in the project from the start,” said Donna Cone, Neurodiagnostic Supervisor at The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center. “The presentations were impressive and displayed a lot of forethought and consideration. Students came up with solutions to the challenge that showed creativity and innovation.”

The collaboration between The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Farmington High School is a tradition that both groups would like to continue in the future.

For more information about the Sleep Disorders Center, visit