ChildServe Completes Expansion to Double Footprint and Impact in Ames, Iowa

October 19, 2023
Architecture Landscape Architecture Healthcare

The newly expanded facility, the result of collaboration with RDG Planning & Design, creates healing spaces where children can strive towards developmental milestones with joy.

ChildServe recently announced the completion of its $8 million Ames, Iowa, expansion project and hosted a celebratory grand opening on Wednesday, September 27, at 1915 Philadelphia Street in Ames. Since its opening in 1995, ChildServe in Ames has been a staple in the community for families raising a child with special healthcare needs. The expansion doubles the current footprint when it comes to physical space and it will also double the number of children served at the Ames campus.

“ChildServe provides a continuum of services for children with special healthcare needs in four key areas: autism services, pediatric rehabilitation, complex medical care and community-based services,” said Kate Reynolds, ChildServe - Ames Director. “We partner with local hospitals, pediatric specialists and healthcare providers to improve outcomes and make life a little easier for families caring for children with special healthcare needs.”

The expansion project, designed by RDG Planning & Design, meets multiple needs for the organization, including additional space to provide treatment to more than 200 children on a waitlist for outpatient therapy as more clinicians are hired. Designed with both patient and caregivers in mind, the rooms are warm and welcoming, modular in size and divided by each therapy to allow for maximum flexibility between services. The expansion also includes a customized space for the Autism Program, which offers a range of services for individuals with autism. The program features a unique floor plan where children can smoothly transition between individual and group therapy activities, classroom activities and play. The Georges Niang Therapy Gym, a fully equipped facility with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, serves as a space where children across multiple services can work toward their goals.

"The completion of this project marks a milestone not just for RDG or ChildServe, but for the community as a whole. It underscores the power of partnership and innovation in creating spaces that nurture hope, progress and possibility for children and families navigating the complexities of specialized healthcare needs,” said RDG Project Manager, Aaron Fulton. “We are honored to be part of a legacy that’s helping redefine pediatric healthcare, and we look forward to witnessing the many ways this space will positively impact families in Ames and beyond."

The expansion project was made possible through generous donor support and a $2.7 million grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The philanthropic support totaled over $4.7 million, which included a $1 million lead gift from donor Connie French.

“I’m grateful to each of our donors and the greater Ames community for their support in making this expansion project possible. We are excited to welcome more local children who can benefit from ChildServe’s expertise and wide array of programs and services. This expansion project has been an amazing reminder that when we all move forward together, we can make a lasting difference for our community,” said Dr. Teri Wahlig, ChildServe CEO.

The Ames expansion is part of ChildServe’s regional growth strategy, which includes enhancing its campuses in Ames, Des Moines and Iowa City to serve as regional centers.


About ChildServe

ChildServe is a specialty pediatric healthcare provider for children and young adults with special healthcare needs. For nearly 100 years, the organization has partnered with families to help children with special healthcare needs live a great life.

ChildServe provides more than 30 services to over 5,700 children in Iowa each year. The organization’s array of services are interwoven and streamlined, so families can get many of their child’s needs met in one location. ChildServe’s key focus areas include complex medical care, pediatric rehabilitation, autism and behavioral health, and community-based services.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director