Groundbreaking ceremony set for October 5 at Buffalo Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western New York (RMHC of WNY) is celebrating the beginning of construction for its “Access for All” project, what it called “an ambitious endeavor to enhance accessibility and comfort at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House.”
RMHC of WNY is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House, 780 W. Ferry St., Buffalo. This celebratory event will mark the beginning of the “Access for All” project.
The mission’s “Access for All” project includes the following improvements and renovations:
•Main entrance accessibility: Ramp installation will occur at the house’s main entrance so all guests can enter through the home’s front door.
•Common area enhancements: Adding an accessible bathroom to the first floor and replacing carpet with hard flooring for more effortless mobility from room to room. These enhancements will ensure all areas of the house are accessible, providing families with mobility challenges more freedom to move around comfortably.
•Updating guest kitchen to meet accessibility requirements: Includes the elimination of the island to allow for the removal of a wall to gain level access to the rear of the house. The renovations include lowering the countertops' height and adding an accessible sink. This floor plan change will foster a more-accessible, warm and inviting atmosphere for guest families, volunteers and staff.
•Access to each level in the house: The removal of the existing limited-use lift and shaft and the installation of a new three-stop elevator. In addition, a ramp will be installed on the second floor to give access to the front accessible bedroom suites completed in 2018.
This $645,000 project is expected to be completed by spring 2024, with renovations commencing immediately. Throughout the renovation process, the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House will continue operating, providing programs and services to families in need.
“At RMHC of WNY, we believe families, regardless of their mobility limitations, should be able to enter the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House through its front door and have access to all the spaces in the heart of the home, including the kitchen, dining room and living room,” RMHC of WNY Executive Director Marianne Hoover said. “The ‘Access for All’ project will make the house fully accessible so that RMHC of WNY can provide a caring and supportive environment for all families, ensuring that they can focus on what matters most: the health and well-being of their children.”
Funders for the project include the estate of Barbara Simmons, M&T Charitable Foundation, The Children’s Guild Foundation, McDonald’s WNY and NWPA owner/operators, James H. Cummings Foundation, Orville’s Home Appliances, Garman Family Fund at Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, John R. Oishei Foundation, Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, Rich Family Foundation, Little-Kittinger Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, Singelyn Family McDonald’s, M/E Engineering, Buffalo Construction Consultants, Kideney Architects, Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant, Sabres Foundation, Five Star Bank, The Tower Family Fund, Five Star Bank, The Baird Foundation, New Car Dealers of WNY Charitable Foundation, Community Bank, The John Fiore Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Barney Rich.
For “Access for All,” Kideney Architects is the architect, Buffalo Construction Consultants is the project manager, M/E Engineering is the engineering firm, and Picone Construction is the general contractor.
“Kideney Architects is delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY and to contribute to this project, which will enhance access to the programs and services offered at the house,” Kideney Architects President Ray Bednarski said. “This beloved house is now 130 years old, and while it has been a welcoming home to many families in need during the last 40 years, some of the physical barriers within the house have made access challenging. This project will resolve many of those issues, improving access to more areas of the house and expanding the ability of RMHC of WNY to deliver outstanding supportive programs and services for all the families who need them.”
David Schlant, P.E., LEED AP, New York CEO, principal for M/E Engineering and chairperson of RMHC of WNY’s building and grounds committee, said, “This project will enhance our ability to serve families with a child suffering from illness or injury. By adding a ramp to the front door, a full elevator, and renovations to the basement, the first and second floors of the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House will make those areas fully accessible. This renovation will allow RMHC of WNY to welcome anyone with any mobility limitations to stay at the house. This is the most ambitious renovation of the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House since it opened 40 years ago, and we’ll be so excited to see it accommodate everyone.”
Vice President of Development and Preconstruction Peter Dechert said, “Buffalo Construction Consultants Inc. is an engaged and caring member within the local Western New York community where we live, build and play. Members of our team have been touched by the care and support RMHC provides and we are proud to be part of the volunteer team supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western New York in delivering updates to their facility in Buffalo.”
Picone Construction LEED AP Vice President and Director of Operations Chris Picone said, “We are thrilled to once again be working with the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House. Partnering with a nonprofit that does so much good for our community is a wonderful opportunity, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
RMHC of WNY is a chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities global network. RMHC of WNY is operated by a local volunteer board of directors. It is responsible for its own fundraising and programs, and is 100% funded by donations.
The mission of RMHC of WNY is to create and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Since 1983, the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House has served more than 21,411 families from New York, neighboring states, and globally. Since opening in late 2017, the Ronald McDonald Family Room located in John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH) receives more than 1,000 visits each month, and the Ronald McDonald hospitality cart at OCH makes more than 360 bedside visits each week. The recently launched Ronald McDonald hospitality cart at Sisters of Charity Hospital visits the mother/baby and NICU units each week.