Reporting Bernie Tafoya
CHICAGO (CBS) — Ribbon-cutting is set for Tuesday morning in Streeterville for the new Ronald McDonald House, a place to stay for the families of patients at the new Lurie Children’s Hospital.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, there are more than 300 Ronald McDonald houses around the world. The new one at Grand Avenue and St. Clair Street is the world’s largest.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Families who use the center will have living quarters, community gathering spaces, eating and playing areas, and an open-air rooftop deck.
“Here’s one of the highlights of the house,” said Ronald McDonald House chief executive officer Doug Porter. “This is called our musical tile, so there are certain carpet squares surrounding another sculpture done by our friends at Hallmark.”
If someone does a little dance on the carpet square, a piano glissando will sound.
One feature families will notice that remains at the Ronald McDonald House is a journal provided in each room to families.
“More than anything, they give inspiration and hope to other families that follow; that it’s going to be OK,” Porter said.
The new facility cost about $40 million, Porter said Ronald McDonald House Charities is a few million dollars short right now, but he’s working on the fundraising.
The new Ronald McDonald House is five blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, but nine Ronald McDonald House rooms are inside the hospital itself, for “families of the most critically ill children that five blocks is too far to be away.”
Porter said the new Ronald McDonald House has lots of community spaces so families can bond. Families who stay there are asked for a $10-a-night donation, but no one is turned away if they can’t afford it.
Children’s Memorial Hospital moved earlier this month from its historic campus in the Lincoln Park neighborhood to 220 E. Chicago Ave. in Streeterville.
The Ronald McDonald House associated with the old hospital was located at 622 W. Deming Pl. in Lincoln Park. It dated from the 1880s and was part of the Arlington-Deming historic district, but was approved for demolition in January, according to published reports.
The street address for the new facility is 211 E. Grand Ave.