New Ronald McDonald House Breaks Ground in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — For 30 years, the Ronald McDonald House provided a stable “home away from home” for families with children undergoing treatment at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH). But the number of patients has grown and will continue to grow due to the advanced care available at YNHCH, specifically its bone marrow transplant unit, organ transplantation unit and NICU. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Massachusetts expect their communities to outgrow the 12-room facility in the next 10 years.

As a result, the Ronald McDonald House — the only of its kind in Connecticut — will be relocated to Howard Avenue across the street from YNHCH and expanded in three phases. Architecture, art and advisory firm Svigals+Partners, based in New Haven, has designed a 28,000-square-foot, 42-room facility, each with a private bath. Planned amenities include a community kitchen and pantry, living room, children’s room, teens’ room, two respite rooms and landscaped yard.

Natural light and artwork will be integrated into the house, including aluminum artwork in the rear sunrooms, a donor-recognition wall and colorful stucco on the exterior. A south patio will also serve as a sunlit play area for children.

Strategically placed water features inside and outside the building will dilute noise pollution from the streets. A landscaped entry in the front courtyard will inspire the building’s interior design theme. The three-story project will also be IECC 2009-compliant.

Svigals+Partners broke ground with North Haven, Conn.-based Petra Construction on the new facility on May 11, and the first phase is expected to be complete in mid-2017 with 18 guest rooms initially. Nearly 12,000 square feet will be leased out for community meetings, conferences and administrative purposes as a revenue source for the project until funding is completed for Phase II. At that point, the community rooms will be converted into 12 guest rooms. By the completion of Phase III, another freestanding building with 12 more rooms will be finished. The project budget was not disclosed.