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Family House raises stakes

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By Leslie Williams

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — After several funding boosts this summer, the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals has increased its campaign goal to $7.5 million from $6.2 million.

The 40-bed facility, planned for construction this month in Chapel Hill, will provide long-term housing for adult critical-care patients and their families while they undergo treatment at UNC Hospitals.

The announcement came after state lawmakers approved a $1 million grant-in-aid to the project, the maximum amount planners expected to receive from the state.

The group also received a $150,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and The Duke Endowment pledged another $100,000.

An additional $200,000 may come in the form of a federal Housing and Urban Development grant once Congress approves the budget, says Greg Kirkpatrick, director of development for Family House and manager of the capital campaign.

And the board is still pursuing donations from individuals and corporations in North Carolina for the funds necessary to meet the new goal.

The increased goal makes room for a construction contingency fund, a necessity for coping with a possible increase in the price of construction materials, Kirkpatrick says.

Construction is expected to cost roughly $4.5 million.

The remaining funds will create a $1 million endowment, the Sustaining Fund for Families in Need, which will pay for indigent families to stay free of charge.

The facility will be located on Old Mason Farm Road adjacent to the Ronald McDonald House, with a projected opening date of summer 2007.

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