Amanda’s House – Phase III Renovations

The opening of Amanda’s House in 2013 was truly a community effort. The facility, formerly Kavanagh House, is located at 1821 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines. It was gifted to Amanda the Panda through HCI Care Services from Gregory and Suzie Glazer Burt in memory of Suzie’s mother, Maddie Levitt.

The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute (GDMLI) led the renovation efforts, starting in January 2013, through their class graduation in May. The class of 49 individuals raised critical funds, arranged donated services, provided numerous volunteer hours, and promoted the project and events through a well thought out marketing plan. Many class members have continued to help with the continued renovation project, with programs, and with community awareness.

Throughout 2013 Amanda’s House received a “new look” inside and out. Over 83% of the capital campaign goal was achieved. The new facility has more than doubled Amanda the Panda’s capacity to serve grieving families. New spaces like the Variety Volcano Room and Teen Lounge, Principal Activity Center and Walker Creation Station, have provided wonderful enhancements to current programming and enabled us to offer new program elements too.

Phase III began in April 2014! This final phase of renovations includes:

  • replacing all the windows and patio doors
  • new furnace
  • new air compressor for sprinkler system
  • updates to the sump pump system
  • grading and tiling in the courtyard
  • new landscape and design for the courtyard and south lawn
  • engraved brick memorial walk and arbor
  • virtual tour video for the website

The landscape design is so beautiful; the gardens are such a gift to the community. The concept was provided by the very talented Jessica Hernandez with RDG. Modifications, required updates and execution will be completed by Iowa Outdoor Products. The Phase III renovation is made possible by the generosity of many amazing organizations:

Thank you to Iowa Outdoor Products for their $10,000 donation towards material and labor.
Thank you to Renewal by Anderson for their $15,000 donation towards material and labor.
Thank you to the New York Life Foundation for their $25,000 Community Impact Grant. This will fund the creation of the Children’s Natural Playscape area. Many agents and employees have volunteered numerous hours to magnify the impact of their donation as well.
Thank you to Prairie Meadows for the $124,224 Legacy Grant. This will fund all the remaining aspects for the renovation with a large focus on the courtyard and south lawn elements.
Thank you to the Des Moines Woodworkers Association for volunteering their time and talent to build the cedar arbor for the memorial walk in the courtyard.