What is now the Dickerson Center originally housed Campbell Street High School from 1948 until 1962, when the high school moved to Keech Street and Campbell Street Elementary moved into the vacated building. Campbell Street Elementary School closed in 1969 to comply with the school district's desegregation plans, and the building was left vacant. It remained in a state of disrepair until 1975, when a group of citizens led by former Campbell Street Elementary principal John H. Dickerson, Sr., convinced the Daytona Beach City Commission to purchase the property and renovate the building for use as a community center.
Following Campbell Street Elementary School's closure in 1969, Dickerson was transferred to Holly Hill Elementary, where he served as assistant principal until his retirement in 1979, after 42 years as a school administrator. Before his appointment as principal of Campbell Street Elementary, Dickerson had served as assistant principal of Highlands Elementary and principal of both Campbell Street High School and Campbell Street Adult School.
Upon his retirement, the building that Dickerson had been instrumental in saving was renamed in his honor. The Dickerson Center currently contains some administrative offices for the city as well as recreational facilities. It had also housed the Dickerson Library which moved into a new facility on Keech Street in August 2001. Besides having an illustrious career as a school administrator, John Dickerson had an extensive record of community service that included membership on several boards and councils, co-chairman of the Daytona Beach Development Project, president of the Halifax Area Council on Human Relations, and chairman of the Campbell Street Community Improvement Association. John H. Dickerson died on June 28, 1980.