COLUMBIA, Mo. - The new Ronald McDonald House will open its doors to guests this week.
The home will welcome families starting Wednesday at its new location on Lansing Avenue, near the University of Missouri Women's and Children's Hospital.
Ronald McDonald House officials say the location next to the hospital is a significant improvement since the home offers out-of-town families a place to stay while their children are in the hospital. The old house was on Stadium Boulevard near University Hospital.
The old home will officially close Wednesday morning with families checking into the new home at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Another noticeable improvement is the size of the new home. The Lansing Ave. house is much larger than the old home with 18 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. In addition to the bedrooms, the house also has one extended stay apartment.
Officials say they had to turn away families at their old home.
"We don't like to be in that situation ever," said Ronald McDonald House Charities executive director Terri Gray. "Over the summer, we were very busy and full so we got into a situation where we had to turn families away. We had a waiting list."
Gray says if they ever need to grow again, there is enough room at the new house to add an addition.
The new home is also accessible to those with special needs, a feature the old location did not have.
While the house will open this week, the campaign to pay for the project will continue.
"Construction is almost complete of the new house and we will be moving in tomorrow, but the campaign is not over," said Gray.
Ronald McDonald House Charities still needs $200,000 to complete the "Building a House to Call Home" campaign.
Gray says every amount will help the organization reach its goal. To donate, visit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri website.