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Last updated: Sun. Dec. 09, 2012 - 08:15 am EDT

Costs delay Ball State's plans to build greenhouse for orchid collection


MUNCIE — Ball State University has tabled efforts to build a greenhouse to house a well-known orchid collection after bids for the project came in higher than anticipated.

The Dr. Joe R. and Alice Pursley Rinard Greenhouse had been scheduled to start in September, followed by a grand opening in the spring of 2013. But construction bids exceeded the $770,000 budget, and the university has decided not to accept any of them.

The Wheeler Orchid Collection and Species Bank is reportedly the largest of all universities in the country. It is designed to conserve rare and endangered species of orchids, disseminate them for preservation and use them for research and education.

It's also a tourist attraction, but the existing facility lacks restrooms, a separate display area and other amenities.

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