Central Alberta is one step closer to having a three-storey house for sick children and their families near Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
On Monday, city council supported Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta’s intentions to buy an unconstructed lane and merge it with the three lots where organizers plan to build south of the hospital on Gaetz Avenue. The lane, would free up an additional 2,400 square feet for the project.
As part of the sale of the lane, the project must remain as a Ronald McDonald House until 2035.
Council also supported the house as a permitted use on the lots at 3902, 3906, 3908 50th Avenue, plus the north/south portion of the lane immediately north of 39th Street.
Larry Mathieson, executive director for Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta, said his organization can now remove purchase conditions and buy the lots.
“That then allows us to go to detailed architectural plans,” Mathieson said. “In a way, the real work starts now.”
Ronald McDonald House will offer families of critically ill babies and high-risk pregnancies an affordable and compassionate place to stay. Up to 10 families will be able to stay there at a time.
An estimated 400 families annually are expected to stay at the Red Deer house where they will enjoy home-cooked meals, private bedrooms and playrooms for children.
A capital fundraising campaign will likely launch in September, Mathieson said.
“We get some of our core funding from Ronald McDonald House charities and with other projects in the province, we’ve had support from the provincial government. But over 80 per cent of our funds come from individuals in the community.”