Non-profits ready for office space upgrade

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Starting next week a dozen non-profit groups will begin trading their cramped quarters for posh new office space. The non-profits are housed inside the Knight Non-Profit Center in Gulfport that is in the middle of large scale renovations.

"Right now the foundation is using about five or six different offices upstairs," said Jay Huffstatler.

Huffstatler is a project manager for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. He says moving downstairs will be an upgrade as far as office space.

"We've come in and designed how many offices that we would have and what kind of open space we would have in each suite of offices," said Huffstatler. "So it's kind of great that we can mold our space to meet our needs. "

Crews are renovating the bottom floor of the Knight Non-Profit Center, but soon their focus will shift.

Knight Non-Profit Center director Catherine Gautier said, "When they move downstairs we will be able to work on the space upstairs. We have two tenants potentially for upstairs already, but we still have several suite spaces that are available where we can build to specification to what people need. So we have opportunity to bring in multiple agencies."

Right now there are 12 tenants which are able share expenses to keep overhead cost down.

"The lower cost we have, the more that we can do for the community," Huffstatler said. "So the less expenses we have, the more that we can roll out to the community services programs and things like that."

Huffstatler says the new office space is designed to give agencies more privacy to meet with clients and donors yet still put them close enough to make forming a community partnership just a walk down the hall.

Once the renovations are complete, the Knight Non-Profit center will have space for up to 22 non-profits.

"It's really great to be around each other," Huffstatler said. "A lot of our organizations meet and have a lot of common goals and missions. So it's kind of great that we're still in one big space, and we can walk down the hall and meet each other. That was our main purpose that we could stay connected and stay together."