HARRISBURG -- A Saline County community college has broken ground on a simulated mine facility that will be used for education and competitions.
Southeastern Illinois College received $220,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development to build the 12,000-square-foot facility. More than 1,000 miners go through the college's training programs each year. Rescue teams will use the center to practice responding to emergency situations.
An Illinois Eastern Community Colleges dean tells The Southern Illinoisan the facility will make the college eligible to host a national mining competition that attracts dozens of mining teams. The community college district and Southeastern Illinois College each contributed $15,000 to the project.
The newspaper reports the college's facility will be one of two in the state.