- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

FORT BRANCH, Ind. (AP) - Vincennes University officials have awarded a $2 million contract to build Indiana’s first simulated underground coal mine for miner safety training.

The plans approved Monday call for the nearly 40,000 square-foot simulated mine to be built at the school’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics near Fort Branch.

University President Chuck Johnson says the new center will provide training for various types of mining, along being a site for fire and rescue training programs.

Officials say the simulated mine is modeled after a similar facility at West Virginia University and is expected to attract miners from throughout Indiana as well as Illinois and Kentucky.

Johnson says construction is expected to begin soon and take about seven months to complete.

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