Welding students get creative at the Palmetto Tennis Center

Sumter, SC  Through a partnership between Central Carolina Technical College’s Welding program and the City of Sumter’s Palmetto Tennis Center, welding students have left their mark on a local project. 

The City of Sumter’s Palmetto Tennis Center, located one mile from CCTC’s Main Campus, is set to open the Palmetto Tennis Center Operations Center, which will be the hub of the popular tennis complex. 

Recreation Programs and Facilities Director for the City of Sumter, Susan Wild, was searching for local talent who could create something to represent the Palmetto Tennis Center and the new complex. Wild found the perfect fit at CCTC. 

Once agreeing to the project, CCTC Welding Department Chair Axel Reis and his welding students crafted aluminum palmetto trees, which were installed in January.

“After programming the Palmetto trees into the PlasmaCAM machine, students cleaned the aluminum, welded the tree parts together and painted the trees black,” Reis said. “Students are always excited to work on special projects for the public.”

The trees currently sit outside of the new facility adjacent to the entrances. Michael Waddell, CCTC welding student, helped create the trees to fine tune his skills outside of the typical assignments. Other community projects by CCTC Welding students include sculptures at Alice Drive Elementary School, Crestwood High School, the Sumter County Museum and Swan Lake Iris Gardens. 

“I’ve learned a lot about welding and fabrication since starting the program. I’m very proud to be part of the Palmetto Tree project and have an opportunity to showcase my skills,” Waddell said. “I helped prep the aluminum to be welded and assisted with the painting process once it was completed.”

The new building includes an expanded pro shop, concessions and restrooms. Palmetto Tennis Center staff are also housed in this location. The Operations Center and red clay courts are set to be complete in the near future, with Central Carolina’s mark being forever associated with the complex. 

The Welding program at Central Carolina offers knowledge and skills in welding techniques that have become standard in the industry. For more information, contact Axel Reis at 803-778-7863 or reisah@cctech.edu.  


About Central Carolina Technical College

Central Carolina Technical College is a comprehensive, public, two-year institution of higher education that is dedicated to fostering a positive environment of teaching and learning for faculty, staff and students. The college serves primarily the region of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties in South Carolina and confers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. Central Carolina Technical College students have a wide array of programs and services from which to choose. Our online programming and cooperative agreements with other colleges and universities provide students with exceptional opportunities coupled with our more traditional learning opportunities. Learn more: cctech.edu