Groundbreaking ceremony held for future Dickinson facility

Dickinson Center, Inc. [DCI], formerly Dickinson Mental Health Center, held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning for their new facility along Servidea Drive atop Boot Jack Hill.The new facility will consolidate 10 distinct site- and community-based programs into a 28,200-square-foot facility and will house approximately 100 full- and part-time employees.Dickinson's Chief Executive Officer Jack Goga gave a heartfelt presentation to board members, administrators, KTH-Hallstrom Construction, and to the county and borough officials who braved the cold to celebrate the birth of the facility."There is a rumor flying around that Dickinson is building a new facility," Goga said. "I am here today to tell you that is true and we are very fortunate to have a group of individuals in the name of KTH-Hallstrom building what will be a magnificent building for our organization."This is a project that has really been in the works for quite a few years. There has been an identified need for our organization; giving its growth and expansion particularly over the last 10 years, to really begin to think about the opportunity to consolidate our programs and coordinate our operations in a way that would be consistent with good business practices and being able to provide a more efficient level of care for our consumers and the residents of our community." A competitive bidding process this past spring resulted in KTH-Hallstrom, a regional design-build company in DuBois, receiving the construction contract award. A guaranteed maximum price of $4,121,400 has been established for this building project. DCI has additionally received notification from Northwest Savings Bank of an approved commercial loan in the amount of $3.2 million for a 20-year term. The difference, or $921,400, will be paid for by a portion of agency capital investments, its general fund account, and/or net revenue distributions projected in fiscal year 2012. DCI has also initiated a search for other grant funding from private and corporate foundations to support the financing of this project.According to Jennifer Dippold, public relations/fund development coordinator, current office space is significantly restricted and has resulted in inadequate areas to conduct intake/admission procedures. It has precluded the opportunity to consider program expansion in several service lines prepared for additional utilization.A construction project of this scope was deemed critical to the long term growth, success, and sustainability of DCI by board members and senior administration alike. A new facility will advance greater operational efficiencies including communication between all levels of the organization. Current sites are in various levels of disrepair, have outdated plumbing and heating systems, and would add significant expense to renovate. Utility costs have soared due to improper insulation and outdated window treatments. Trending information in customer satisfaction surveys reflects specific program properties as not conducive in promoting good mental health care.DCI was formed in 1958 as the Ridgway Area Psychiatric Center. In 1981, the name was changed to Dickinson Mental Health Center, Inc. to honor its founder, Dr. Robert J. Dickinson. In March 2011, the name was changed to Dickinson Center, Inc. as part of the agency’s re-branding initiative. The tag line “Compassion, Excellence, Hope since 1958” reflects commitment to service excellence. Initially, Dickinson opened to provide outpatient psychiatric care to rural northwestern Pennsylvania and served over six counties. They are now recognized as the leading rural behavioral health provider in northwestern Pennsylvania and have evolved into an organization with over 220 employees with a nearly $10 million annual operating budget. DCI is a regional provider of mental health, intellectual disabilities and children’s prevention services operating in Elk, Cameron, Potter, McKean, Forest, Warren, Jefferson and Clearfield Counties.