Brr! With the first kiss of winter’s chilly lips waking North Texas on Thursday, December 7, there were a heck of a lot of Lexuses and Mercedes headed to the former Dallas High School on Bryan Street. The drivers weren’t doing carpool duty. They were there to hear about the sneak preview of The Hope Lodge designed by Perkins And Will Dallas in their news digs in the former school.
As the crowd gathered, Perkins And Will architect John Strasius pointed out the windows of the former classrooms. With new panes of 21st glass, the taller than an elephant’s eye windows allowed the room to be shown in natural light.
But as John explained, the windows had been adjusted to modern-day convenience. While they would no longer be able to open for the day’s breezes, they were sealed tightly.
As soon as the guests like Katy Bock, Cara French, Jonika Nix, Kristi Hoyl, Tim Moore, Susan McSherry, Janet Ryan and Deidre Bacala took their places at the tables arranged in a horseshoe, Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson, American Cancer Society Regional Distinguished Partners VP Annie Russell and John welcomed the group.
Then Perkins And Will’s Tori Wickard unveiled plans for the incredible complex on the Baylor Scott And White Health – North Texas campus that would allow 50 cancer patients and their families to reside free of charge while going through outpatient treatments at any area medical facilities.
In addition to providing 50 private ensuite bedroom suites, the 40,000-square-foot Hope Lodge will have a shared kitchen, dining spaces, a garden, facility recreation rooms and resource library with an Internet computer station, as well as such services as daily transportation to and from treatment facilities and peer support groups and cancer care networks.
To assist residents during their stay in the four-story facility, Perkins And Will created a design that would “enhance the mental and society aspects of healing” including natural light, clean air and water, fitness and nourishment.
Located just southeast of Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at the intersection of Elm and Hall, the remarkable project is due to a partnership between Baylor and the American Cancer Society.
The capital campaign is already underway thanks to Hope Lodge Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Jennifer and Richard Dix. What surprised the Dixes was the fact that this hadn’t already been done.
According to Jennifer, who chaired the American Cancer Society 2011 Cattle Baron’s Ball, “Did you know that Dallas is ranked number 7 in the national for cancer care? What a point of pride for our city and an amazing resource, not only for the residents of DFW, but for the thousands of people who travel annually to Dallas for cancer care. Hope Lodge is the missing component for these patients and we fervently believe Dallas needs this vital asset.”
With the cost of construction hitting $20M and an additional $5M need for operating support, the capital campaigns goal is $25.
While Jennifer and Richard have already locked down underwriting for the outdoor spaces as well as the main lobby, living room, library, meditation room and 12 of the suites, they still need to hit 80%-85% of the $20M in capital funds to be raised for construction to get underway.