Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- The city of Sumter can sometimes be more of a pit stop than a destination. But, Mayor Joe McElveen couldn't disagree more.
"Well it's a great place, number one, because of the folks we have here, the people that make it up," he said.
The Mayor recently participated in the U.S. Conference of Mayors where Sumter was given an award for "Outstanding Achievement" for a city with a population of 100,000 people or less.
The city had actually applied for "Most Livable City," but still received an award. On the application, mayors were asked to cite a program that has helped the city progress. Mayor McElveen chose Central Carolina Technical College's Science Health Center.
Dean Miriam Laney said that the location was ideal.
"This lot had an old warehouse building on it and the city gave that to Central Carolina technical college which was an usual partnership between an educational institution and a city, she said.
With the city's help, the college built the Health Science Center right into downtown. The renovations cost $13.5 million, but the mayor believes the center is well worth it.
"It's increasing the number of health care personnel we have, it's helping us with revitalization downtown. It's a positive for us on a lot of different levels," Mayor McElveen said.
The Health Sciences Center supplies students with the latest in medical technology. The human simulators cost anywhere between 68 and 80 thousand dollars. Dean Laney says its the most advanced equipment she's seen in her 20 years of teaching.
"Where we pretended and my students pretended, these students are actually getting hands on experience to perform these skills on real patients," Laney said.