Link Centre grows, Girl Scouts move

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Link Centre is stretching its legs.
The organization recently bought the Girl Scouts wing, and now fully owns the entire former Harrisburg Baptist Church building. The Girl Scouts are in the process of moving into a new facility, and the Link Centre will turn the former Girl Scouts side into a expanded lobby and concession area and office space.
“It’s a big, empty space begging for activity,” said Link Centre Executive Director Melanie Deas.
The 15,000-square-foot facility bumps the Link Centre’s rentable space from 30 percent to 45 percent.
That side of the building will serve as the main Link Centre entrance.
The North Mississippi Symphony will move across the building into the newly purchased space, and the new lobby and concession area will welcome guests to symphony performances.
The upstairs will be home to a co-working space, in which several new businesses can share office space, supplies and more. The idea is new to the area, Deas said, and the brainchild of Link’s director of operations, Derek Russell.
“There will be four tiered levels, from having a mailing address to multi-use suites for your employees,” he said.
Businesses that rent the space can share meeting spaces, copiers and fax machines, and Link Centre will offer networking opportunities and lunch lectures.
“It’s an artsy spin on a corporate office,” Russell said. “It’s not just cubicles and fluorescent lights.”
Link Centre is doing some “cosmetic surgery” to the building, freshening up paint jobs and updating technology. A new capital campaign will kick off before the end of the year, but Deas said officials are still deciding just how much money needs to be raised.
The symphony is expected to move soon, and Deas hopes to have an official ribbon-cutting in August.
The Girl Scouts and Link Centre have shared the space since 2002.
After the North Mississippi Girl Scouts council merged with several other councils in the region in 2008, as a part of a nationwide council merger, they were only using about half of the space, said Jenny Jones, marketing director for Girl Scouts Heart of the South.
The Girl Scouts are in the process of moving to 1140 W. Main St. in Tupelo. The office officially opens Monday, with an open house scheduled for 2 p.m. Aug. 12.
Jones said they’re happy to see Link Centre grow, and excited for the new facility.
“We’d been there about 11 years, so it couldn’t have been better for (Link Centre) to continue to grow,” Jones said. “I just opened the last moving box, so we’re almost settled in.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com