Indiana's First Underground Mining Simulation Center to be Built in Gibson County

VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University Board of Trustees approved a $2.074 million contract Monday to build Indiana’s only underground mining simulation center. It will be located at VU’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics. 

Krempp Construction, Inc., Jasper, was awarded the contract to build the almost 40,000 square-foot mock mine. It will have two main entrances with two exits on each side. VU received funding for the project in the state’s biennium budget. 

“In addition to coal, this new center will be useful for other types of mining as well as for fire and rescue training and VU’s Homeland Security and Law Enforcement programs,” said VU President Chuck Johnson. 

Modeled after a simulated underground mine training facility at West Virginia University, VU expects its new facility to attract miners from throughout Indiana as well as Illinois and Kentucky. 

VU is Indiana's designated recipient of federal grant funding from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to provide assistance in the training and retraining of Indiana’s miners. The VU program was initiated in October 2005 for miners in all segments of the mining industry, including coal, sand and gravel, cement, crushed stone, dimension limestone, gypsum, shale, and clay. VU's Mining program provides the required training for new underground miners and new surface miners, in addition to MSHA-required annual refresher training for all miners. 

“VU provides MSHA training to thousands of miners annually. This new facility will add to our capacity to do that training,” Johnson said. 

Emphasizing the need for the new facility, VU Board Chair John Stachura said that coal is located in 18 counties in southwestern Indiana, with rock mining located in most of Indiana’s 92 counties. According to the U.S. 

Geological Survey, Indiana has 17 billion tons of recoverable coal. Johnson said construction of the mock mine will take about seven months. He expects construction to begin soon. 

VU’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a leading resource for workforce development. The 57,000 square-foot facility features modern and flexible training labs and classrooms that serve employers, employees, and students within southwestern Indiana’s industrial corridor. It is located on U.S. 41 near Fort Branch and just a few miles from Interstates 64 and 69. 

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College 

VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper and additional sites such as Indianapolis, Lebanon, and Gibson County. A leader in developing Early Colleges statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation. 

In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education. 

VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 35 other states, and 17 countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu. 

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DUANE CHATTIN, Director of Public Information 

812-888-4164 (office), 812-887-6397 (cell), [email protected] VICKIE PUFFER, Communications Coordinator 

812-888-4358 (office), 812-887-4635 (cell), [email protected] VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu 

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