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New Ronald McDonald House is Ready for Families to Move In

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- After finishing the construction of the new Ronald McDonald House in 11 days, they took some more time to bring in the furniture, a playground and put all the finishing touches on the house before families move in on Tuesday.

Monday the Ronald McDonald House staff is opening up the new house for the community to take a tour and see the finished product.

Executive Director Brenda Miller said they will be able to accommodate more families now.

“We plan to have tomorrow evening as the first night for the families. At this time it looks like we are going to have about 15 families moving in with us. We are going to be over the capacity of the old building,” Miller said.

The new house is much bigger than the old one.

“We have grown to 18 rooms and in the old house we could fit up to two people in each room comfortably. In this house we can fit four people comfortably in 16 rooms and two additional rooms we have a third queen bed in them and so we can fit six comfortably in those,” Miller said.

Miller said not only is there more space in the bedrooms, the bathrooms are bigger too.

“For those that stay for months and even years with us they can really spread out and feel like they are at home,” Miller said.

Miller added, the staff is really excited to have all of the families here for the holidays and make them feel at home.

“We are running at capacity at HCI on Easton Boulevard and we have families on a waitlist and at a hotel. So we are excited to get all those families in and serve the first Thanksgiving dinner here at the Ronald McDonald House,” Miller said.

Miller said one of the bigger rooms was inspired by one of the families that has been staying with them for quite a few years.

“Their son is now a teenager and just having a little privacy for mom and dad is important. Sometimes you just need some time to process your own thoughts or be alone. Simonson designed this little room in here with the queen size bed and a pocket door to save room, which I think is a really nice feature in the larger rooms,” Miller said.

The Ronald McDonald House tours and ribbon cutting ceremony are happening Monday from 2-7 p.m.