INA, Ill. – Rend Lake College is holding an open house to introduce the area to its new state-of-the-art Coal Mine Training Center.
Construction of the center is complete and RLC physical plant staff are putting on the finishing touches inside. The 20,000 square-feet Coal Mine Training Center houses a large open shop area, simulated coal mine and large classrooms, in addition to faculty and staff offices. Located on the west side of campus, the center was constructed, in part, with FY2009 funding of a $1.7 million federal Community-Based Jobs Training grant and $1.07 million in Illinois coal development funds through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
“We are very excited to be hosting the annual meeting of the IMI as well as the IMRA’s mine rescue contest,” said RLC President Charley D. Holstein. “The open house culminates a process that began last July with a celebrated groundbreaking ceremony. This is a major event for the campus and the community. I encourage the public to attend to see the possibilities and what we have done with their tax dollars. We are extremely excited about the training opportunities this center will bring to Southern Illinois and the region. So, please attend.”
The open house will begin at 10 a.m. with a significant announcement. The rest of the schedule includes a tour of the facility and one-of-a-kind mock mine, a mine rescue training demonstration, refreshments, opportunities to register for classes in RLC’s mining technology program and special guest appearances by “Big John” and “Lucky” with the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team.