Legacy Link celebrated its grand opening Tuesday in Oakwood with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the building, which offers more space than its predecessor in Gainesville.
“It’s very big compared to what we had before,” said Roger Ray, former marketing director for the agency, as he stood near the entrance. “Everybody was bunched up (in the old building).”
The agency, which provides services to seniors and their families, started operating out of new offices at 4080 Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood in October, moving from its Oak Street base in Gainesville, where it shared space with Gainesville City Schools.
“We’re real pleased. We’re really happy to have everybody in one location,” said Pat Freeman, the private nonprofit organization’s CEO. “It’s a lot better for (employees) and helping serve families by having everything right here.”
Legacy Link serves as the Department of Human Services’ Area Agency on Aging for Northeast Georgia, providing advocacy for seniors, as well as programs and home-based services.
About six or seven years ago, Legacy Link’s board of directors “recognized that we had people in three different locations and that we were paying a great deal of money in rent,” board member John Morris Jr. told a group of about 100 who gathered for the ceremony outside the building.
“After consultation with some financial folks, we decided we were in a ... position to move forward either in buying a building or building (one),” he said.
Initially, the agency looked in Gainesville for a new home before finding the Oakwood location, which is next to Mundy Mill subdivision, Freeman said in a May interview.
“Oakwood is expanding. (South Hall) is where the growth is in the county,” she said. “Lots of seniors live in this area.”
Work began in mid-2014 on converting what was originally the Oakwood Sportsmen’s Lodge and later housed Bodyplex fitness center. The renovation project cost $1.8 million.
The building also has conference rooms the agency didn’t have before, as well as a meeting room in the bottom floor that can be rented to groups and for community events. The basement, which served as the lodge’s shooting range, is now used primarily for storage.
The new digs are roomy enough for expansion, as needed, Freeman said.
“We’ve got (unoccupied) three or four cubicles and one or two offices left,” she said.