Ball State University is expanding the Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse on the Muncie campus. The university says the project will allow the greenhouse to accommodate more visitors and host more community events.
The expansion comes with a $1.8 million price tag, the majority of which is being funded through private donations and grants, according to a university spokesperson. The project will double the size of the greenhouse’s 800-square-foot conservatory and add a 1,500-square-foot environmental education center, which will serve as a dedicated community learning multi-purpose space.
“We are looking forward to accommodating even greater visitation in the future, and we are excited about growing our contribution to our region,” Cheryl LeBlanc, curator of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, said in a news release.
Ground was broken earlier this summer and Ball State says the greenhouse will remain open through construction. A specific time frame for completion was not provided.
The Rinard Orchid Greenhouse features the largest collegiate orchid species collection in the U.S. with 2,100 orchids. Ball State says the greenhouse currently attracts more than 6,000 visitors annually, including students from area schools, Ball State students, faculty and staff, and members of the community.