The 40,000ft2 (3,716m2) facility, which was finished in May, is located at the school’s Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics. The underground portion includes 11 entrances, a training space, a fire training module with a burn area and theatrical smokers and a fresh air bay trainer.
The school previously said the centre would be modelled after the underground mine training facility at West Virginia University.
The opening ceremonies for the Confined Space Training Facility, where the state’s lieutenant governor Suzanne Crouch will serve as guest speaker, will be held September 21.
“This is by far one of the most flexible, detailed, and largest simulated mines that I have had the privilege of working with,” VU mining program director Greg Xanders said. “[It is] one of the premier mine training facilities in the country.
“When you talk about hands-on mine safety, mine rescue, and other forms of training, this facility can provide new and experienced miners skills related to ventilation, controlling dangerous gases, dealing with emergency situations and many more lab-type experiences.”
VU officials said that, including both on-site and off-site instruction, it has provided training to 5,524 miners so far in 2017 - up from 3,017 miners in 2014 and 3,888 miners in 2016.