New Ronald McDonald House at Yale-New Haven Hospital Design Selected, Capital Campaign Launched

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 announced plans for a new Ronald McDonald House designed by architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals+Partners.

RMH_AerialEntry01_dc-92Replacing the current facility at 501 George Street, the planned 28,000-square-foot facility will more than triple the number of guestrooms currently available.

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.

Keeping Families Together
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 guest rooms, 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.”

RMH_2When 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.

Raising Capital, Building Hope
The site for the new facility is, in fact, crucial to the project. YNHH offered the land to MHCTMA as a generous gift to the non-profit, in part because the lot is directly across Howard Avenue from the Children’s Hospital. The original plans called for the facility to include an entrance on the Vernon Street side of the lot, taking advantage of that street’s residential feel. When that plan became impossible, the Vernon Street parcels were turned over for development of affordable housing and Svigals+Partners set about revamping the design.

Meanwhile, RMH-CTMA has launched a capital campaign to cover construction costs. The goal is to raise $2.5 million to add to the $1 million lead gift from local franchise owners of McDonald’s restaurants–“A penny per pound of french fries,” says Dick Popilowski, the capital campaign director–and to other capital. The campaign has already raised almost $700,000 toward that goal.

The contractor on the project is Petra Construction Corporation. Construction is expected to begin in January 2016. The first phase is expected to take one year to complete.

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Posted August 25, 2015

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