151439276764667.png

Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

featured in

Ronald McDonald House ready to break ground on $16.5 million expansion

Ronald McDonald House ready to break ground on $16.5 million expansion

The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester is ready to break ground on an expansion project that will nearly double its current capacity.

The organization announced Tuesday at its annual meeting that it plans to begin construction on its 30-room addition on May 1. The expansion will give the Rochester location a total of 70 rooms — making it the largest Ronald McDonald House in the state of Minnesota.

The organization said the decision to move forward with work reflects "significant process" toward its $16.5 million capital campaign.

“It’s an exciting time for the House,” said Peggy Elliott, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. "We didn’t know if we would be able to break ground this year, but thanks to the support of local businesses, individuals and the community and the leadership of the Board of Trustees, we will be able to serve many more families beginning in 2019." 

While the Rochester location already serves nearly 1,000 families per year,  demand for its services continues to grow. In the past four years, the nonprofit — which provides temporary housing and support services to families seeking medical care for their children — says it has turned away more than 4,000 families due to space limitations.

 Exterior rendering of the expansion project

Exterior rendering of the expansion project

With the expansion, the organization aims to shorten its waitlist and begin welcoming more families traveling here for treatment at Mayo Clinic.

“Families travel hundreds or thousands of miles seeking care at Mayo Clinic,” Dr. Randy Flick, director of Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, said in a news release. “The House truly becomes a home for children and families facing enormous health challenges, providing far more than a place to stay. Without its incredible staff and facility, many families would simply not be able to access Mayo Clinic care.”

In addition to the 30 guest rooms, the addition will include a small indoor gym, indoor and outdoor play areas, underground parking and green space.

The organization has brought in $13.2 million toward its funding goal. It still needs to raise $3.3 million to cover the expected cost of the project.

You can learn more about the expansion on RMH's website.

Cover image: Interior rendering of the space

Could pop-up saunas be Rochester's answer to these never-ending winters?

Could pop-up saunas be Rochester's answer to these never-ending winters?

Rochester teens using their swords to shatter stereotypes

Rochester teens using their swords to shatter stereotypes