Dickinson Center breaks ground for construction in St. Marys

DCI Groundbreaking Ceremony Group Photo

Dickinson Center, Inc. (DCI), an affiliate of Journey Health System (JHS), broke ground on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 for the ceremonial kick-off of their building at 28 Railroad Street in St. Marys. 

Staff from DCI and JHS, members of DCI’s board and capital campaign committee, local officials, contractors and several community members attended to witness this historic milestone. The following attendees wore hard hats and wielded decorative shovels to celebrate the commencement of the construction project by breaking ground: Jim Prosper, DCI Executive Director; Guy Signor, JHS President and CEO; John Robinson, MCF Architecture Senior Architect; Barry Andrulonis, Hallstrom Construction Project Manager; Joe Haines, DCI Board Chair and Capital Campaign Committee Member; Fritz Lecker, Elk County Commissioner; Bob Ordiway, DCI Board member and Capital Campaign Committee Chair; Joe Fleming, City of St. Marys City Manager;  Lyle Garner, City of St. Marys Mayor; Mike Armanini, Pennsylvania State Representative of the 75th Legislative District.

“This is a great day for Dickinson Center, Inc., the people they serve and the City of St. Marys,” said Guy Signor, JHS President and CEO. “This groundbreaking ceremony signifies more than just the construction of a physical structure; it embodies our unwavering commitment to our mission and the communities that DCI has served for 66 years.”

“I am grateful to see this seven-year journey become a reality. We are very excited for the improved access, environment and collaboration this new facility will bring to the community members we support as well as our staff,” added Jim Prosper, DCI Executive Director.

The new, two-story, 12,000-square-foot facility will integrate all of DCI’s St. Marys’ programs into one building. The facility will not only improve service accessibility, but also increase organizational effectiveness while bringing a positive transformation to downtown St. Marys.

“I would like to thank the entire DCI team who have played a vital part in getting us here today,” said Joe Haines, DCI Board Chair and Capital Campaign Committee Member. “I also wish to thank the DCI Board for their ongoing support, the capital campaign committee who is working on our “Building for Tomorrow” capital campaign as well as Senator Cris Dush, Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, Representative Mike Armanini, the City of St. Marys, and the County of Elk administration and staff.”

Funding for this project will be comprised of federal and state grants, foundation grants, Dickinson Center operating funds, bank financing, and generous contributions from business, industry and individuals throughout the area.  

”I am extremely pleased that we are able to move this project into the construction phase. I appreciate all the hard work from Journey Health System and Dickinson Center, Inc. in making this now a reality of a much needed facility that will be so beneficial to the residents of Elk and the surrounding counties,” stated Mike Armanini, Pennsylvania State Representative. “Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development was instrumental in working with us in making the project move forward and I am thankful for their efforts. There were many challenges but we always were able to overcome them by having excellent correspondence with them. I will admit though, I think I had an Irishman guardian angel following me throughout this whole process making sure it got off the ground.”

State Representative Mike Armanini’s poignant reference resonated deeply as a tribute to the late Don W. Fleming, a dedicated advocate for DCI. Throughout his lifetime, Don played a pivotal role in championing numerous community initiatives, including the mission and vision of DCI.  His strong love of family and steadfast belief in Dickinson’s mission were vividly demonstrated through his long-standing partnership with the institution. Notably, Don’s generosity extended to the sale of the properties crucial to the realization of the St. Marys building project, reflecting his profound belief in the shared aspirations for growth and progress.  Dickinson holds dear Don Fleming’s legacy and enduring spirit of philanthropy.

A capital campaign committee has been established and is actively working to lead the community-wide fundraising effort.  As a result of generous contributions from individuals, businesses, organizations, and foundations Dickinson has raised more than $1 million of its $1.5 million campaign goal. Capital campaign committee members are currently in active engagement with local individuals and businesses to achieve the remaining $380,000 goal.


To learn more and make a gift to Dickinson Center’s “Building for Tomorrow” campaign, visit www.givetodickinson.org.