Over the next 10 years, the numbers of pediatric visits at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital are expected to triple. This creates a pressing need to build a new Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut to ensure state of the art care can be offered to the increased numbers of families in need. In many cases, the House is the critical link that brings together specialized medical treatment and the children who desperately need it.
Q. What is Ronald McDonald House?
Since 1985, Connecticut’s only Ronald McDonald House has provided over 10,000 families with a “home away from home”, 24/7, 365 days each year. The House provides families the ability to stay together while their child recieves innovative medical care at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH). Children and families live at Ronald McDonald House for as long as medically necessary. Many children who stay at Ronald McDonald House come for treatments not available anywhere else in Connecticut or their local community. Ronald McDonald Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on their child.
Q. Why are you building a new Ronald McDonald House?
A. We are committed to serving all children and their families with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Our current 12 bedroom House at 501 George Street, New Haven is not large enough to meet the growing demand and future needs of children and families being treated and recovering from the innovative and specialized care that they will be receiving at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH). The new House will allow us to more than double the number of families served. The larger state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House will be just steps away from the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and will serve as a critical link to help families undergoing specialized medical treatments at YNHCH.
Q. What will the new house provide?
A. A larger state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House will be just steps away from the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital serving the growing needs of families with children undergoing critical, specialized medical treatment at YNHCH with:
- A warm homelike atmosphere with comfortable beds, private baths, a well-stocked kitchen and volunteers with nothing but open arms and warm hearts to support our guests throughout their stay.
- Respite rooms that allow family members of hospitalized children to leave the bed side for short periods to rest and refresh themselves and attend to personal matters.
- A flexible design to allow for families of all sizes and available for long-term outpatient treatment.
- A family-centered environment with facilities that focuses in on our children’s recovery including TV lounges, computer lab, children’s playroom with arts and crafts, library and study space and expanded outside space with courtyard, patio, playground and garden.
Q. What is your building plan?
A. Yale-New Haven Hospital has donated property directly across the street from Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital to build a larger, state-of-the-art Ronald McDonald House to accommodate the growing number of seriously ill children and their families who need a place to call home during medical treatment. Since then we have been hard at work to design a building that we can afford to operate while meeting the growing demand for services. The new House will ultimately have up to 42 bedrooms. The first phase will be 30,000 sq. ft. with 18 guest rooms with private bathrooms and a thoughtful flexible design to allow for families of all sizes and 2 respite rooms to accommodate parents who normally stay at their child’s bedside but need a short break for a few hours of sleep or a quick shower. There will be core areas: kitchen, dining room, pantry, family lounges with TV, computer and media capabilities, children’s playroom, living room, offices and reception area. The new House will be fully ADA compliant and will feature community space for collaborating with the Hospital and other organizations to serve our families.
Q. Are you affiliated with just Yale-New Haven Hospital? What about other medical facilities?
A. The Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut is an independent 501(C) (3) organization as part of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts (RMHC CTMA) and has no direct affiliation with any medical facility in the area. We gladly serve families with ill children being treated at all area medical facilities.
Q. What is the financial goal for the Campaign? How much have you raised to date? Who is your lead donor?
A. The financial goal for the Capital Campaign is $2.5 million. To date we have raised $613,000. We also have been fortunate enough to have a lead gift of $1 million from the McDonald Owner Operators that was given to us prior to the start of our Campaign.
Q. Will there be Naming Opportunities?
A. Yes, there are many naming opportunities in the new House at a variety of funding levels and we are delighted to share them with you. Each naming opportunity will be recognized at the new Ronald McDonald House on our Wall of Recognition and at the location in the new House that fits your interests and gift amount.
Q. Do you have Board support? What kind of commitment are they willing to make?
A. We are pleased to announce that we have 100% Board support for this project. The Board members are committed personally to the new building and have made efforts to help raise additional funds from all sources in our community. Many Board Members serve on various committees related to the Campaign as well as being extremely generous of their time and energy in these efforts. We are fortunate to have two leaders from our community, RMHC CTMA Board Member David Fusco, retired Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut President / CEO and Larry Lazaroff, Connecticut Advisory Board Member and Owner of Arnold’s Jewelers, North Haven serving as our Co-Chairs for the Capital Campaign.
Q. What are the total project costs and the specific costs for construction, design and site expenses? What is the size of the building, including number of rooms?
A. The new Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut will eventually have up to 42 bedrooms. We will construct our new House in 3 phases. The first phase will cost $10.5 million. Construction costs are estimated to be $7.5 million with the remaining $2.5 million allocated for site development, architectural and engineering fees, inspections, permits, demolition and other services. The building will be 18,000 sq. ft. designed for 18 bedrooms and 2 respite rooms and program space including core areas, the “heart of the home“, kitchen, dining room, pantry, family lounges with TV, living room, laundry and children’s playroom. Twelve bedrooms, occupying 12,000 sq. ft. of space, will be fitted up but remain unfinished and leased for community meetings. This space will eventually be converted to bedrooms as the demand for them increases and funds become available. In the final phase of the project, RMHC will construct additional bedrooms on an adjacent site currently known as the Adler building.
Q. What funding commitments have you received for the project? What needs to be raised to complete the project?
A. We have secured $8 million dollars through various sources including a major lead gift from McDonald Owner Operators, YNHH donations (land, lease, sale of current House when our new House is completed,) Investment income, RMHC global donation, bequests and loans. $2.5 million will need to be raised from the community to build the new House.
Q. When will construction start? When will the new Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut be completed and ready for occupancy?
A. Demolition of buildings on the site will start as soon as city approvals are received with the current schedule for construction to begin January, 2016. We anticipate the new Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut will open in February, 2017.