Development Center ready for bright lights

Published 6:39 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The auditorium at Jefferson State Community College's Clanton campus seats more than 600 people

This coming weekend, Relay for Life volunteers and organizers will come to Clanton for a statewide meeting at the new Economic Development Center on Lay Dam Road.

That event, along with a gospel singing last Saturday and a law enforcement training seminar a few weeks back, are exactly the kind of community programs envisioned when the idea for the center was first proposed.

“Because we are so centrally located, it’s a great place for statewide groups to meet,” said Sandy Stevens, the center’s event coordinator.

Stevens has worked out of Clanton for several months now as work was finished on the center. Now all construction has been completed, and the entire building is available for use.

The center includes a 608-seat performance hall as well as a 13,000-square foot exhibition hall. The building also includes three classrooms, a catering kitchen as well as dressing rooms and a greenroom offstage.

The venue would be ideal for about any event imaginable, Stevens said.

“Anything you want to do, it’s flexible,” said Stevens.

The building is a partnership between the city of Clanton and Jeff State. Stevens said the building’s goal is to help grow the local economy through hosting events like conferences, tradeshows, exhibitions, concerts and other draws.

“It will bring events that would bring people to hotels, restaurants, gas stations,” she said. “Between Montgomery and Birmingham, we are it. It’s a perfect location.”

An official grand opening will likely take place in early February, though the center is fully operational now.

For more information about the Economic Development Center and its rates, visit