Local dignitaries pose with shovels in hand during a groundbreaking of the new headquarter’s of iCan and the Children’s Museum on the corner of the Parkway and Holland Ave. on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 in Utica, NY. In addition, Mayor Rob Palmieri presented ICAN a check for $2,000,000. From left to right are: Children’s Museum Director Donna Migliaccio, 3rd Ward Councilperson Celeste Friend, Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Oneida County Youth Bureau Director Kevin Green, First Source Federal Credit Union President Tom Neumann, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, ICAN CEO/Executive Director Steve Bulger, First Source Federal Credit Union Board Member Deborah Palmer, ICAN Capital Campaign Co-Chair Kelly Parsons, First Source Federal Credit Union Chief Development Officer Michael Parsons. Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties Trustee Dr. Cheryl Minor, Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties President/CEO Alicia Dicks, M&T Bank Charitable and Community Relations Manager Alissa Viti, M&T Bank Assistant Vice President Hillarie Pirger, CSArch Building Designer Alexandra Garrity and Gaetano Construction Vice President of Pre-Construction Anthony Obernesser. (Photo Credit: Nancy L. Ford Photography)




ICAN and the Utica Children’s Museum, along with many partners and supporters, had their official groundbreaking ceremony for their new Family Resource Center at 106 Memorial Parkway in Utica this morning. The site will house ICAN offices and programs (opening next year) as well as a brand new, state-of-the-art children’s museum which is slated to open in late 2023. The project total will be $14 million, which includes site improvements, museum exhibit design and the addition of a rotunda—a signature architectural element on the south

side of the building.


ICAN CEO/Executive Director Steve Bulger states, “This promises to be a destination that will add to the rich mix of offerings for families in the Parkway District, the City of Utica and our region as a whole. We are creating a place where children and families can meet, interact and spend time together – families from the neighborhood, as well as families from far away. The Family Resource Center will help increase community wellness as well as help elevate tourism and economic development.”



A five minute video that showcases details of the project, as well as a sneak peek into the museum space through 3D renderings, was also released today and can be viewed on www.ican.family.



Nationwide, Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are community-based hubs where families can access traditional and non-traditional supports to promote their health and well-being – mental health services, parent skill training, home visiting, respite and crisis care services and more. Many FRCs aim to be “one-stop shops” for children and parents that increase parenting skills as well as strengthen families’ protective factors such as:

  • Parental Resilience
  • Social Connections
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children


FRCs support the development of strong communities by supporting parents and caregivers through a multitude of programs and services. They are welcoming spaces that are prevention-focused, strengths-based, culturally sensitive and most importantly driven by family needs. They serve as a link between families, schools, support services and the community and they help significantly reduce the risk of child abuse and maltreatment.



The Family Resource Center will unite two of our region’s greatest assets: ICAN’s youth and family programs and the Utica Children’s Museum. A hub for learning, wellness, connectedness and fun, this will be the first time that a children’s museum is co-located and partnered with a human services non-profit.


Project timeline:

Summer 2021: Project groundbreaking

Summer 2022: ICAN opens Family Resource Center for services

End of 2023: Grand Opening of the new Children’s Museum


ICAN programs such as Supervised Visitation, Healthy Families and Nurturing Parenting will be housed at the new Family Resource Center, all of which will utilize the museum space for family bonding, confidence building and ultimately for making families stronger. Select ICAN administrative departments will also be housed at the new location. The new museum will be located on the second floor and in the rotunda of the Family Resource Center. It will provide a space and be a catalyst for post-pandemic healing for all and will offer needed socialization, connection and joy as well as hands-on educational experiences aligned with school curricula to help students get back on track after an extended loss of learning. Close to the Parkway Recreational Center, Val Bialas Ski Center, Utica Zoo and the John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, the museum will enhance this family-friendly district of the city. Regional and national experts are assisting with the project from architecture and conceptualization to creation of museum exhibits and ensuring Universal Design principles are integrated.



Founded in 1997, ICAN is a unique home and community-based network that provides individualized and non-traditional services and care to the highest risk individuals and families with social, emotional, mental health and behavioral challenges. ICAN’s team of over 170 staff consisting of care managers, service coordinators, social workers, support specialists, clinical staff and an extensive Independent Practice Association (IPA) of 250+ providers work together to provide a platform for support, family reunification and preservation to over 1,900 individuals and families each day – prenatally through end of life.

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