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Families, staff move back into Ronald McDonald House

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 19:23:40-04

After weeks away, a non-profit that helps families of children getting medical treatment in Omaha moved back home.

The lack of space and much needed renovations forced operators at the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha to embark in a $10.5 million project last September.

Workers completed phase one of the three-phase renovation and expansion project this week. On Tuesday, families and staff moved back in after moving onto UNO's Scott Campus for the summer.

"We are moving half of our families back in, and I say half because that's who used to make up the entire house and now that we're adding the entire 20,000 square feet, we can double the amount of families that we have," said Executive Director Lindsey Rai Kortan.

In total, there are 18,000 sq. feet of internal renovations and 20,000 sq. feet of add-on space. The renovation includes a kitchen expansion and dining area as as more healing spaces. Twenty more rooms to accommodate more families will also be added. 

Kortan said the entire thought behind the renovations was to make the building more welcoming for families. 

"It's comforting for the parents and exciting for the kids, because really, when were you excited and felt electricity in the air and had something to look forward when your life is defined by going to hospital appointments, that's what we're trying to accomplish with this space," added Kortan. 

Staff and families will live at the House while construction continues. The second phase of the project, which includes the kitchen, should be completed in September. The project should be done in Spring 2019.