NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital has grown, tripling the number of inpatient and outpatient services to young people in need of life-saving care, so also has the need for services to support the families of those children. Thankfully, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Massachusetts has plans for a new Ronald McDonald House designed by architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals+Partners.
Replacing the current facility at 501 George Street, long considered insufficient in size to support the number of families with children in life-saving care, the planned 28,000-square-foot facility will more than triple the number of guestrooms currently available. “Our New Haven facility has needed to grow in size for some time,” says Stocky Clark, RMH-CTMA’s executive director. “The design by Svigals+Partners will help us to do that while retaining the informal, homelike environment that our families need for their extended stays.” The charitable organization has launched a capital campaign to raise $2.5 million in anticipation of construction. Meanwhile ,Svigals+Partners is working on schematics and design documents for construction, and the project is expected to receive approvals from the zoning authorities this fall.
The project will be built in three phases, allowing families to occupy the facility while construction continues outside for Phases II and III. The first phase will provide 18 guestrooms, each with a private bath. The previous facility at 501 George Street offered only shared baths, diminishing the role of privacy in making the place a true home-away-from-home. Phase I will also include two private day rooms, or “respite rooms.” When all three phases are complete, the facility will total between 37 and 42 bedrooms. The design offers natural daylight and finish materials throughout, as well as water features and plants in entrance and common areas. The project also features integrated sculpture on the street-facing side of the building: designed by founding principal Barry Svigals, FAIA, the figurative sculptures depict human forms that appear to be holding up the building itself–a nod to the theme of support for families.
Construction is expected to begin in January 2016. The first phase is expected to take one year to complete.