Lake Nona Ronald McDonald House, perched beside Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona, is set to open on May 20.
The 15-room home-away-from-home for families with sick children mimics Nemours’ contemporary architecture. And although it deviates from the cottage style of the other two homes near Arnold Palmer Hospital of Children and Florida Hospital for Children, the symbolic soft yellow hue is still present on its exterior.
As of early April, the structure was about 75 percent finished, and Chad Monroe of DPR Construction was optimistic that the House would be ready on time.
The rooms for families are simple and spacious. A small wall draws a line between the bedroom and sitting area to create a home-like feel.
“The cleaner, the better,” said LouAnn DeVoogd, president of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida.
The kitchen and common areas are surrounded by large windows and lead to a vast playground. There is also a LEGO-themed indoors kids’ play area.
Unique to the house is art donated by local artists. The artists were picked by donors who have underwritten each of the House’s 15 bedrooms.
The House occupies 21,000-square-feet on 0.8 acres of land, with room to grow to 40 bedrooms in the future.
Together, the three Roland McDonald Houses in Orlando will have 99 rooms, making Orlando the sixth U.S. city with three Ronald McDonald Houses.
Companies donating services to the House include SchenkelShultz Architecture, DPR Construction, TLC Engineering, BBM Structural Engineers Inc., Ramski & Company Interior Design and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc.
“There’s something special about this… it’s just bigger than the project,” said Monroe of DPR.