Stanly County Agri-Civic Center names new facility director

Published 9:59 am Friday, November 26, 2021

She spent close to 15 years at the Stanly County Agri Civic Center, first on the maintenance side part-time before working as an administrative assistant.

However, Amanda Griffey worked her way to the top, having recently been named as the new head of the facility.

Griffey said it felt good to get the promotion, adding it’s a little stressful, but she is “definitely invested in this place.”

“I have a passion for (the facility) and I want to see it be a successful part of our county,” Griffey said.

The Agri-Civic Center, in Griffey’s opinion, is a building which is an “embodiment of public service,” noting the number of government agencies which work in the building. The facility has offices from state-level organizations like the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Forest Service, to the Stanly County Farm Service Agency, the Stanly Soil & Water Conservation District and the Stanly County Arts Guild.

County organizations use the facility for educational, business and training meetings. It is also an event center for concerts, theater performances and more.

“People have no idea the sheer amount of events that we do in any given week,” Griffey said. “We’re constantly busy. We have a constant flow of people coming in and out for various reasons.”

She said charging reasonable rates for events is important, noting their rates are reasonable in comparison with other area venues.

“That’s a service in and of itself,” Griffey said. “It’s more of a public service. It’s certainly not a money-making machine.”

Being centrally located, she said, has helped in working with Stanly County Schools to provide a cultural education program.

From free band concerts by the Stanly County Concert Band to a season of shows promoted by the Stanly County Concert Association, the Ag Center also serves as a home for the arts, including regular displays in the lobby from the Arts Guild.

Griffey said her immediate plans for the center are to get back on track with what the facility did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We did lose quite a bit of revenue,” she said. “We’re working with our clients to make sure they can bring their events here and be successful with that.”

Public safety is always kept in mind, she added.

For long-term goals, Griffey said she would like to see the facility expand, including the plans underway to build a livestock arena next to the main building. The arena would allow the facility to host more outdoor events, including agricultural and similar events.

In terms of the outdoors, Griffey said she would like to build up the outside of the arena for wedding receptions and similar social events. She said the center is working with the Masters Gardening Program, part of the Cooperative Extension Service, with volunteers improving the landscaping and beautification of the building.

“I want to see (the center) be a successful and thriving part of the county, not just county government, but for the community as well,” Griffey said. “I want it to be more of a household name. I want people to recognize the place it has within the community.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored four times by the North Carolina Press Association.

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