Newly constructed tower at Ronald McDonald House gives more families place to stay

John McDevitt
May 15, 2019 - 5:00 am
The Ronald McDonald House in West Philadelphia is expanding.

John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A home away from home for out-of-town parents of hospitalized children gets a little more comfortable with the eight-story tower - the latest phase of the expansion project underway at the Ronald McDonald House in West Philadelphia.

"Each floor has 16 bedrooms to welcome new families," said the Ronald McDonald House's CEO Susan Campbell.

It's been years in the making. 

A home away from home for the families of hospitalized children gets a little more comfy with the "tower" - the latest phase of the expansion project underway at the Ronald McDonald House in West Philadelphia.
John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

She says the bedroom suite design was created with long-term families in mind. It includes a bathroom in the middle, which creates two bedroom zones with one with a sofa bed doubling as a living room. 

"We started out with 45 guests bedrooms and we're incrementally adding floors and it will enable us to serve 127 families every night. So we are over-doubling our occupancy, which will double, if not close to triple, the total number of nights that we can offer to our families and it will allow us to serve a couple thousand more families that we would otherwise wouldn't be able to serve," Campbell said. 

Common areas include a newly constructed cooking and dining center, where a section is dedicated to families who want to prepare their own meals. 

A home away from home for the families of hospitalized children gets a little more comfy with the "tower" - the latest phase of the expansion project underway at the Ronald McDonald House in West Philadelphia.
John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

Outdoor gardens include play areas, grills, reflection paths and a food forest.

The existing 19th century mansion on the property has been incorporated into the overall plan. The next phase of the expansion project is set to be completed towards the end of the year and will feature indoor play areas, a wellness center and a theater.

The Ronald McDonald House near 39th and Chestnut streets is the first House and will celebrate its 45th anniversary in the fall. There are more than 350 Ronald McDonald Houses in the world.