Interior view of room with two chairs facing window


For four decades, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Greater Washington, DC (RMHCDC) has served our community and helped families in need of assistance. When a child receives specialized medical treatment at a hospital far away from their home, RMHCDC helps keep their family together by providing a place to stay. Since 1980, they’ve expanded their services to include 2 Ronald McDonald House programs and other core programs to serve 11,000 children and families per year—however, the demand for service is steadily increasing, and they have had to turn away families due to room shortages.

Karen Torres, President and CEO of RMHCDC, recognized the clear need for an upgrade. “More and more families are going to specialized disease centers and new oncology treatment units. And since they’re coming from all over, they needed a place to stay—sadly, though, we’ve had to turn away over 200 families,” she said recently. RMHCDC made the decision to add 30 guest rooms across both House programs, as well as renovate their existing mechanical systems and enhance community spaces. They sought partners to help make the expansion as successful as possible, and we’ve been working with RMHCDC since January 2020 to make that vision a reality.

Exterior view of house with stair case leading to second floor
These stairs lead up to the brand new second floor, built to increase room capacity at the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Virginia.

The scale of this project is smaller than most other DAVIS projects, but we ensured these renovations received the attention and care they deserve to help RMHCDC in its mission. We worked in lockstep with the charity’s staff to make sure the build exceeded expectations, and even shortened the schedule by two months! Senior Project Manager Shawn Chaney credits this efficiency to the team’s preparation. “With our Pull Planning sessions, we were able to shave 2 months off the project’s schedule. Communication was key, and we found ways to keep the entire process moving constantly. Our trade partners really stepped up to the plate,” Chaney said. “We ran into some potential obstacles when COVID-19 struck. However, we were able to take quick action, emphasize safety, and avoid schedule delays.”

The work at the Ronald McDonald House of Washington, D.C. completed in September 2020, and the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Virginia is set to complete in late July—reopening to families shortly thereafter. “To see the kitchens brighter and the lounge space more welcoming is very exciting for all of us. The families that have stayed with us before and come back to see this have been grateful because it meets their needs in an impactful way,” Torres said. The RMHCDC mission is crucial to the Greater Washington area community, and the expansion of these Ronald McDonald House programs will have an immediate impact; our project team has kept that impact in mind throughout the project. “It was so nice to be able to give back. Talking to our trade partners, everybody knew someone that has used a Ronald McDonald House before,” Chaney said. “We wanted to do the best job that we can to give RMHCDC the resources they need to keep serving families.”

Learn more and support RMHCDC on its website. There, you can donate to this great cause and register for their Red Shoe 5k Run & Walk on October 3rd!  

Read our latest profile of DAVIS Senior Project Manager Shawn Chaney, who has been hard at work completing the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Virginia!