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A three-year project to improve amenities and functionality of the John H. Dickerson Center, James Huger Park and Campbell Aquatic Center has been completed, creating the Dickerson Recreation Complex. Residents are invited to a grand reopening community event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 5, where they can tour the facility and enjoy free swimming, games, music and refreshments. Coinciding with the festivities, Pay it 4ward, a Daytona Beach nonprofit, will be giving away 2,500 backpacks to school-age children.
The improvements are part of the city’s vision to create a holistic destination that connected the Dickerson Center to Campbell Aquatic Center as well as to the surrounding neighborhood. The new connectivity offers a cohesive, welcoming space with easy access to and from the community center and pool, creating one unified destination and safe environment for youth and adults to travel between the two facilities.
Improvements included new playground equipment, an outdoor basketball court, reconfigured and additional parking, connecting sidewalks, improved exterior lighting, new exterior paint and upgraded landscaping as well as new flooring in the gymnasium. New paint, flooring and ceiling tiles, installation of an HVAC dust system and mold remediation in a portion of the building are some of the improvements to the interior of the 75-year-old facility. At the adjacent Campbell Aquatic Center, the entrance was moved to the north side and a new pool entry pavilion, stairs and ADA compliant ramp to enter the area were added. People can also enjoy new canopy shade structures over picnic tables.
The Dickerson Community Center, in the heart of Midtown at 308 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., serves a diverse population -- families, churches, schools and local clubs including the Boys & Girls Club.
A modern, LED sign for the complex and three identifying monument signs for the Campbell Aquatic Center and James Huger Park are expected to be installed prior to the grand reopening.
The project to revamp the complex received nearly $1 million in grants from the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities District.
The Dickerson Community Center was purchased by the city in 1975. From 1948 until 1969, the facility was the location of the Campbell Street elementary and high schools, which closed in 1969 to comply with the school district's desegregation plans. John H. Dickerson Sr., former principal of Campbell Street Elementary School, was instrumental in convincing the City Commission to purchase the property and renovate the building for use as a community center. The building was renamed in Dickerson’s honor in 1979.