THE Ronald McDonald House Orange board of directors has come through a nightmare six months coping with the enormity of the project, according to chair Joanne Lewis.
Mrs Lewis said complex issues associated with compliance, and devising a system to manage the project, have been sticking points, delaying the start of building, which was due to begin earlier this year.
“I know it is hard to explain to people the complicated systems and protocols we have to follow, which has accounted for the delay,” she said.
“We do also need more money, around $100,000.
“However, I want to assure the communities of the central west that have supported the building of this house, the first of its kind in Australia, that everything is now in place for us to move forward.
“Building will start as soon as Ronald McDonald House Charities undertakes the final sign-offs, which should be next week.”
Mrs Lewis said the high calibre of board members, who were all busy professionals, had placed a huge impost on the time they had been able to put into the project.
“This has been compounded by the many challenges we have had, particularly to ensure that the mental health component of the project, to support young people and their families,is exactly what is required,” she said.
Mrs Lewis said the start of the building was not just about laying the foundations.
“We have to make sure we have all the programs and support systems in place at the same time, ready to go when we open our doors, and that has also been a big part of our workload over the last few months,” she said.
Mrs Lewis said due to the size of the building, offers of in-kind help involving tradesmen’s hours and donations of supplies, a separate project manager was being appointed to coordinate this stage of the project.
It really has been a tough six months but we feel we are over the hump now,” she said.
The $4million Ronald McDonald House is a far cry from the initial proposal in 2005, which started out with just four rooms, with the suggestion of modifying an already-built house.
The Orange house, to be built on the Bloomfield site, will comprise 12 areas for families, lounge and entertainment areas, meeting and consultation rooms, as well as areas designed for learning programs