Children’s Inn To Hold Grand Re-Opening This Year
Nine months of ‘emergency’ work to fix roof wraps up
Volunteers help prepare rooms for families at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda.
Photo via Children’s Inn
Nine months after half of the residences at the Bethesda-based Children’s Inn were evacuated due to structural issues with the building’s roof, it’s almost business-as-usual for the facility.
In August, the majority of patients in the building were evacuated and relocated after a staff member found a crack in the ceiling of the inn’s bistro. The “structural damage” was caused by materials from an ongoing construction project on the roof, according to county Fire and Rescue Service staff.
Thirty-seven rooms were unable to be occupied for the nine months during roof repairs, and the facility operated at “less than half capacity,” Mysba Regis, the inn’s communication manager, said.
“That was a huge deal for us,” she said.
The Children’s Inn houses more than 1,700 children and their families from across the United States and the world each year.
The inn is a nonprofit providing free lodging and support services to families of children and young adults with rare or critical illnesses whose best and often only option is a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health, according to the organization.
When the roof damage was discovered, families were relocated to apartments and hotels in the Bethesda area, with funding provided by donors.
Shuttles were provided to the hospital and Children’s Inn for activities, treatment and meals. Community members also donated gift cards to area restaurants, tickets to local events and children’s toys.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the community,” Regis said. “People stepped up to help in keeping families happy.”
Families and staff were able to begin moving back in in mid-March, and a grand re-opening is scheduled for later this year, Regis said. Almost all of the rooms are back in service, as well as the game room, bistro and television area.
Meanwhile, work will continue to complete renovations at the inn, aimed at “modernizing” the facility and creating a more appealing outdoor facade. The work is expected to be completed in time for the re-opening celebration.
Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org