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Ronald McDonald House is undergoing a $7.63 million expansion, which will nearly double the number of rooms.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jul. 18, 201412:00 PM EST

Ronald McDonald House plans $7.6 million expansion


Ronald McDonald House, the Southbank Jacksonville nonprofit that has housed more than 31,500 families while their children received medical care, is preparing to almost double the number of rooms it offers to visiting patients.

The city is reviewing the building-permit application for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville Inc. to add 24 rooms to the 30-bedroom facility at a project cost of almost $7.63 million.

The city and the St. Johns River Water Management District have been reviewing the plans for the 27,671-square-foot addition to the 40,000-square-foot building. England, Thims & Miller Inc. is the project engineer.

Danis Construction LLC is the contractor for the three-story expansion and the partial renovation of the existing three-story facility.

Executive Director Diane Boyle said the project includes some renovations of existing rooms and common areas, as well as the addition of a rooftop healing garden.

“It is based on the incredible need for expansion,” Boyle said. She said the house has been at 95 percent capacity for the past two years as Jacksonville grows its reputation as a destination for pediatric care.

The building, at 824 Children’s Way, is near Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

Boyle said the nonprofit is in the private phase of a capital campaign that will be announced after Labor Day.

More than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses operate nationwide.

The first 10-bedroom Ronald McDonald House in Jacksonville opened in 1988 near what is now the UF Health Jacksonville medical center in Springfield. As pediatric health care services were developed on the Southbank, the new house opened with 20 bedrooms in 2001 and another 10 rooms were added in 2004.

Its website,, reports that the house offers support and temporary lodging to families. The house provides 30 bedrooms with several features including private baths, free wireless Internet access, phones and voicemail; a kitchen with food storage for each family; a business center with Internet access and a children’s computer room; laundry facilities; and van transportation to area hospitals and clinics.

LJ names 2014-15 leadership team

Leadership Jacksonville, a nonprofit that develops youth and adult leaders in Northeast Florida, will be led by President Deborah Moore in 2014-15. She is senior vice president and marketing director at EverBank.

Foley & Lardner Partner Chuck Hedrick was elected president-elect.

Clark Robertson, assistant vice president at CSX Transportation Inc., was elected secretary/treasurer. Stephen Goldman, senior vice president and commercial banker at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, is the immediate past president.

New board members are Tricia Cannan, Kim Holland, Carl Patten, Harold Stankard, Monica Whiting and Gary Wilkinson.

Returning board members are Peggy Bryan, Scott Chamberlayne, Moody Chisholm, Broderick Green, Gwen Griggs, Ia Morales Howard, Karen Mayfield, Maxine McBride, Mobeen Rathore and Robertson.

Leadership Jax was created in 1976. Its four major programs are Leadership Jacksonville, Youth Leadership Jacksonville, Collegiate Leadership Experience and the New Leadership Summit.

It also created the Jacksonville Legacy Series to record and preserve insights from prominent regional leaders.

Leadership Jacksonville’s executive director is Jill Langford Dame

For more information, visit or call (904) 396-6263.

Orlando Nordstom files layoff notice

Nordstrom Inc., which plans to close its Orlando store, filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the state Wednesday, indicating a layoff of 211 jobs from Sept. 15 through Sept. 29.

The store at the Florida Mall will close Aug. 16, Nordstrom announced last week. The closing is two months before Nordstrom intends to open its Jacksonville store Oct. 10 at St. Johns Town Center.

Simon Property Group is an owner and manager of both the Florida Mall and St. Johns Town Center.

Nordstrom said last week in news release that the Orlando store’s lease was up. The store opened in 2002.

Jamie Nordstrom, president of stores, said in the news release that the company would need to make a significant investment in the store to renew the lease “so that we’re not offering our customers a substandard experience.”

The company will try to find a spot for employees at other Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack stores. Those who don’t take a job at another Nordstrom store and stay until their last scheduled shift will receive a separation plan.

[email protected]


(904) 356-2466

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