Construction begins on mining facility at Southeastern Illinois College

HARRISBURG - A community college in southeastern Illinois has broken ground on a simulated mine facility that will be used for competitions and education.

Southeastern Illinois College will build the 12,000-square-foot facility with the help of $220,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development.  Over 1,000 miners go through the college's training programs each year.  The center will be used by rescue teams to practice responding to emergency situations.

A dean at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges says the facility will also make the college eligible to host a national mining competition that attracts dozens of mining teams.  Southeastern Illinois College and the community college district each contributed $15,000 to the facility, which will be one of two in the state.

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