Following an expansion that spanned one and a half years, the Ronald McDonald House of Columbus is set to unveil its newly-updated space for the first time today. And when it does so, it will operate as the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House.
Located at 711 E. Livingston Ave., the new facility brings double the space previously offered by the Royal McDonald House of Columbus, which was bolstered by over 100,000 square feet, bringing its new total to 220,000 square feet.
The facility, which houses the families of sick children who are receiving care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has added an additional 86 guest rooms, and now boasts a total of 206 rooms.
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“The community of Central Ohio has really rallied around families of seriously ill, hospitalized children through this project,” said Dee Anders, CEO and Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio in a press release. “We are thrilled with how this expansion has turned out, and we are excited to invite people to see it for themselves.”
A community open house and bake sale will be held Nov. 17, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
In addition to more rooms and square footage, the Ronald McDonald House of Columbus has converted its previous dining area into a massive zoo-themed play area for children—complete with a multitude of animal statues and an immersive atmosphere made of four geographical regions—-plus a large new kitchen and dining area.
According to Senior director of communications and facilities Ryan Wilkins, the Ronald McDonald House worked with the Columbus Zoo to bring the new children’s play space to life. Touches of the Arch City are present throughout the building as well, whether it’s in the form of rooms with Buckeye football themes, a Blue Jacket-themed tree house spanning multiple floors, or an area emulating skybox seats at a Columbus Clippers game.
“Ultimately, this is the community’s house,” Wilkins said. “The community rallies around the families of seriously ill children who are being treated across the street, and it sincerely encourages them when they know folks like the Buckeyes, or the Crew or the Blue Jackets are supporting them.”
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