Published on July 1st, 2014 | by UC&D Magazine0
A Labor of Love, July 2014
Despite early site challenges, the new Ronald McDonald House (RMH) on bustling South Temple in Salt Lake City will serve as a home for families to find refuge, comfort, and support from other families going through similar difficult circumstances.
For Brian Bready, Senior Project Manager for Ogden-based R&O Construction, this project offered many rewards beyond a typical building project.
“The most awesome part of this job and the ultimate payday is being able to see all the families that will benefit from this amazing house,” said Bready.
Indeed, the $6.1 million project – which includes a 42,000 SF addition along with a total renovation of the existing building –will allow RMH in Utah to service more families who have children undergoing specialized medical care at places such as Primary Children’s Hospital, among others. Everything within the Ronald McDonald House, from the laundry facility to the commercial-sized kitchen to the fire station playhouse is designed to make a person’s stay as restful and peaceful as possible during trying times.
Because the project was built on the site of a former Sinclair gas station, concerns with petro-chemical waste removal caused the project to be delayed three months, said Bready, who added that it was “heartbreaking” to have this delay, given the number of families in need of the facility. R&O worked closely with the State’s Division of Environmental Quality to develop a remediation cleanup plan and get the project back on schedule.
Because the LEED Silver designed project is located along the South Temple Historic District corridor, Salt Lake-based CRSA had to receive approval from the Salt Lake City Landmarks Commission and work through several redesigns before construction could proceed and also to get approval for a fourth story. The final result is “a state-of-art house that fits in the architectural aesthetic of the neighborhood beautifully and compatibly,” said Allen Roberts, a Senior Principal with CRSA.
Other project site details that offered unique challenges included:
• The need to provide as much
parking space as possible for
visitors and staff.
• Grade changes between the two
buildings required a bridge to be built between the new addition and
the existing facility for connectivity.
• Finding a close, inexpensive match with exterior materials, so the two
buildings have a similar look and feel.
CRSA followed Ronald McDonald House design guidelines as far as the size, shape, and layout of the rooms and were able to include such amenities as 42 guest rooms (including 8 long-term suites), a commercial-sized kitchen, expanded indoor and outdoor play areas, a sanctuary for reflection and meditation, a patio area with grills, a great room where families can gather, as well as game, theatre, exercise, and laundry rooms.
Now that the addition is completed, the original Ronald McDonald House is undergoing a complex renovation. The 19,645 SF house will receive a “facelift” that includes altering the existing floor plan so the house will now include 30 renovated rooms and some additional office space. The exterior will look the same except for the addition of dormers to let natural sunlight into upper floor rooms.
Although more than 4,000 guests stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in 2013, staff members and volunteers had to turn away nearly 700 families because they were at capacity. However, once the renovation is completed in late 2014, the entire campus will include a total of 72 rooms.
Immediately upon entering the Ronald McDonald House, the openness of the floor plan is one of RMH Executive Director’s Carrie Romano’s favorite attributes.
“The open architecture, the welcome desk, and the bright and beautiful donor wall create a lovely first impression and landing area,” Romano said. She added that she is also proud of the front end work that went into designing the space in a thoughtful manner. “The team worked hard to make the vision into a reality; we really appreciate R&O Construction’s attention to detail and interest in making the building both structurally sound and their foresight in looking long term and knowing we will be operating the building for many years to come.”
One guest that appreciates the features of the Ronald McDonald House is Travis Larsen of Logan. He and his wife are staying at the house with their 16 month-old twin daughters, who both suffer from acute kidney disease and are being monitored by doctors at Primary Children’s Medical Center. Larsen said the most valuable aspect of RMH for his family is the solidarity of being around other families going through similar challenges.
“The Ronald McDonald House is like one great big family and it builds your confidence for when you return home, knowing that there is hope,” Larsen said.
The Ronald McDonald House
Cost: $6.1 Million
Addition Start/Completion: December 2012/March 2014
Remodel Start/Completion: May 2014/November 2014
Square Feet: 41,823
New Suites: 42 (194 Beds)
LEED Certification: Silver
General Contractor: R&O Construction, Ogden
Architect/Landscape Architect: CRSA, SLC Civil
Engineers: Meridian Engineering, Inc.,West Jordan
Structural Engineers: Calder Richards