Expanding a Facility That Serves as More Than Just a Place to Stay

Ronald McDonald House has a long history across the world of providing a "home away from home" for critically ill children and their families. In 1974, the first house opened in Philadelphia, and the services have since expanded to more than 250 Ronald McDonald Houses across 26 countries. The houses and family rooms serve as safe havens and resting places for families whose children have cancer, are receiving an organ transplant, have cardiovascular disease, or are facing other life threatening crises. The first house in Houston opened in 1997 and was located on La Concha Boulevard next to the Astrodome, which was replaced by Holcombe House in the nineties. In the years following, Ronald McDonald House Houston opened houses and family rooms inside three Texas Medical Center hospitals: Texas Children's Hospital, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, and MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. The need for additional rooms has continued to increase over time.

Once complete, this renovation and expansion will provide roughly 40 percent more space for families with children being hospitalized in one of the many Texas Medical Center hospitals.

Once complete, this renovation and expansion will provide roughly 40 percent more space for families with children being hospitalized in one of the many Texas Medical Center hospitals.

A Capital Campaign Supporting Families

To support this growing need, the Ronald McDonald House Houston team has taken the initiative to run a capital campaign, funding a 20-bedroom expansion at the Holcombe House location and a renovation of the existing house. We worked with Ronald McDonald House Houston staff to determine what the greatest needs were and how we could meet those needs. After developing and reviewing numerous schematic layouts, we assessed the pros and cons of each design and eventually decided on a standalone addition, above the existing parking lot, but attached to the existing building by a glass walkway.

Media Rooms and Business Centers: Meeting the Needs of Each Resident

As part of the renovation for the existing building, we created interior design and architectural plans to include new furniture, finishes, and fixtures. Once the renovation is complete, the ground floor will accommodate the growth of incoming families by increasing the size and capacity of the kitchen, living, and dining areas. Young children and teens will have entertainment rooms geared toward their interests, and a sports room will have the latest technology and gaming equipment. There will also be a business center available for those needing to keep up with work and other commitments back home.

The new addition will be attached to the existing facility by a skybridge connecting families to 20 new bedrooms, each with two queen beds and an over-sized bathroom with wheelchair accessible showers. The addition will also include media rooms on each floor. Parking will be located on the ground floor of the new expansion, allowing service vehicles to access existing back-of-house facilities, while maintaining parking needs for the families and staff.

Each room includes two queen size beds and a wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Each room includes two queen size beds and a wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Families Finding Refuge

With the expansion, there will be 20 additional sleeping rooms in this "home away from home," while children are being treated at a Texas Medical Center hospital. It's been such an enriching experience to work on a project that will impact so many individuals.

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  • Alex Wei
    Alex Wei
 
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