Atlanta’s Huge (and Whimsical) New Ronald McDonald House Will Help Even More Families

Atlantans should never take for granted how fortunate we are to have some of the nation’s top medical facilities in our backyard. But for those who have to travel here to get treatment for a child, the combined cost of accommodation and high medical bills can be too much to bear. Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) alleviates that problem by providing affordable or free temporary housing for families with children who are being treated at metro hospitals.

Since opening the doors of its first Atlanta facility (and fourth one worldwide) in 1979, ARMHC has helped more than 45,000 families by giving them support and a home away from home during a difficult time. In 2008, the original Howell Mill Road House was replaced by a state-of-the-art 50-room facility near Emory, complete with a separate wing of suites for kids who had recently received a transplant (to protect them from exposure to infections). That location serves kids being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston Hospital. Now, the Peachtree Dunwoody Road House, which helps families going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Scottish Rite, is being replaced. Take a look at what’s in store…

Current progress

Current progress

The shiny new Sandy Springs Ronald McDonald House on Peachtree Dunwoody Road will have 55,000 square feet of space and 31 bedrooms. That’s going to allow the nonprofit to nearly triple the number of families they can serve compared to the previous 11-bedroom incarnation, which had to turn away more than 650 families over the past three years because of space constraints.

Image via  Bradfield & Gorrie, the project's general contractor

Image via Birmingham-based Bradfield & Gorrie, the project’s general contractor

Before breaking ground last October, the charity managed to raise $18.5 million through its fundraising efforts. The project — featuring an impressively whimsical, fully ADA accessible treehouse play area in the lobby — was designed by architects Perkins + Will, who also had a hand in the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, the CDC, and several Georgia Tech projects, to name just a few. The new Ronald McDonald House is expected to open in early 2016.

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