GHSU plans new Ronald McDonald House

ATLANTA — There might not be many class clowns who make it to medical school, but Georgia Health Sciences University got the OK Tuesday for one.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents unanimously approved the construction of a Ronald McDonald House on Sebastian Way on the site of a former residence that had recently housed the school’s telemedicine program. The structure, built in 1926, will be demolished and replaced by a building almost 10 times its size.

The University System will lease for $100 per year the half acre site to Ronald McDonald House Charities Inc. which will erect a 22,500-square foot facility to serve as a temporary residence for 22 children and their families. The charity, an outgrowth of the McDonald’s fast-food chain, builds the houses named for its clown mascot near children’s hospitals where patients travel from home for repeated treatments.

The goal is to help children recover faster by having their loved ones around them providing moral support and some comforts of home.