Spokane Journal of Business

New Ronald McDonald House starts to take shape

$14.5 million project slated to be finished by year-end

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-Wolfe Architectural Group PS
The second Ronald McDonald House will have 34 private guest rooms, as well as a number of common amenities for families staying there.

A second Ronald McDonald House is under construction on Spokane’s lower South Hill, marking the first major expansion in 17 years for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest.

The nonprofit is building the 35,100-square-foot, $14.5 million building at 1028 W. Fifth, just north of and across Fifth Avenue from the current Ronald McDonald House.

Bouten Construction Co., of Spokane, is the general contractor on the project, and Wolfe Architectural Group PS, also of Spokane, designed it.

Ronald McDonald House, which provides lodging for families while their children are in the hospital, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project last October, but construction crews had begun clearing the site earlier that month. 

Mike Forness, executive director of Ronald McDonald Charities of the Inland Northwest, says the new building is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and the organization plans to expand into it next January.

The new, three-story building will have 34 private guest rooms and suites, as well as common areas that will include eight kitchens, three laundry rooms, two exercise rooms, two movie rooms, a teen room, indoor and outdoor play areas, and two patios. 

A ninth kitchen will be designated for families of pediatric oncology patients whose weakened immune systems could prevent them from accessing common spaces safely.

Guest rooms and common areas will be located above a two-level, 63-stall parking garage. 

The current facility, which opened in 1987, has 22 guest rooms, along with a number of common areas similar to those planned in the new structure.

As of mid-March, Ronald McDonald House had raised $8.6 million of the $17.5 million capital campaign it had launched formally last fall, Forness says. 

He’s confident the organization will raise the $14.5 million needed to complete construction before the end of the year, but it might take longer to generate the $3 million for what the organization is calling a sustainability fund, which is designated to support operations.

A second Ronald McDonald House will provide 12,410 nights of lodging annually, which is in addition to the 8,030 nights of lodging provided at the current structure.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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