by Don Glitsis
Ronald McDonald and Mary Virginia Terry cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Image Source: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville, Inc.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Jacksonville celebrated the grand opening of it’s newly renovated and expanded Ronald McDonald House on September 21st, 2016. Many families, friends and supporters attended the ribbon cutting ceremonies, and celebrated the new expansion, which will provide a “home away from home” to more than 1,500 families a year.
Ronald McDonald House Expansion Design Rendering. Image Source: Stanley Beaman & Sears with Barbara Ratner, Illustrator
As the City of Jacksonville continues to grow as a leader in medical services for children’s healthcare, the Ronald McDonald House has needed to keep pace with that growth. The growing facility serves five healthcare partners: Brooks Rehabilitation, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, UF Health Jacksonville, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The top three diagnoses served by those partners include: cancer, heart surgery and premature birth/NICU. The length of stay ranges from just a few days to weeks or even months.
Ronald McDonald greeter and facility dog, Reed, with families and friends at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies. Image Source: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville, Inc.
Core Amenities available for families:
- Safe and comfortable “home away from home”
- Laundry Facilities
- Indoor and outdoor play areas
- Emotional support from staff, volunteers and other families
As a result of the exceptional services and facilities afforded by the current staff and facility, the occupancy increased over the last few years to a point that RMCHJ was no longer able to serve all the families who needed the programs offered through the then existing almost 30 year old facility.
Aerial view of the completed expansion project. Image Source: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville, Inc.
INITIATIVES, ACTION & RESULTS
Stanley Beaman & Sears worked closely with RMHCJ Executive Director, Ms. Diane Boyle, Key Staff and Board Members to thoughtfully program, plan, design and construct an expansion and planned refurbishment of the existing “House” to meet the increased need for expanding capacity of the extraordinary family services provided. The New Addition focuses on initiatives of wellness, health and nature. The program includes 24 additional bedrooms to increase the facility to an overall total of 54 rooms. The extension to the facility is a three story addition built over existing parking space resulting in new covered parking. The project has increased common area spaces including kitchens, dining room, laundry facilities and play areas which were developed to foster a “home away from home” comforting experience. A volunteer kitchen was incorporated, where community groups will continue to prepare dinner for the expanded family census. A rooftop garden has been added, as a family respite area to enjoy a beautiful outdoor space for quite reflection. A representative list of new program space and areas to be refurbished are listed as follows:
New Program Spaces Expanded Refurbished Spaces:
- 24 New Guest Rooms Family Kitchen
- Iconic Stair Tower Dining Area
- Volunteer Kitchen Play Room
- Rooftop Garden Teen Activity Room
- Guest Balconies Administration Area
- Covered Parking Laundry Areas / Food Storage /Other
Ronald McDonald iconic stair sculpture. Image Source: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville, Inc.
Design Team & Consultants
Stanley Beaman & Sears, Inc. – Architects/Interiors
TLC Engineering for Architecture – Mechanical/Electrical & Plumbing
Uzun & Case, LLC – Structural
England-Thims & Miller, Inc. – Civil & Landscaping
Jon Carloftis – Fine Gardens
Management & Construction
Danis Construction, LLC
CMS Group, LLC
WG Pitts Company
Image Source: Aerial Innovations
About the author: Don Glitsis is an expert Architect, Project Manager, and Principal at Stanley Beaman & Sears. He’s a “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an architect. Hey!”