$ 16 million Butterfly House and Insectarium Breaks Ground Friday


The $ 16 million Butterfly house and insectarium will be unveiled Friday at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

On Monday’s Talk Back, county outreach officer Jerry Marks and Jen and Glenn Marangelo of Butterfly House and Insectarium answered listeners’ questions.

Marks began by describing the changes to the fairgrounds as they prepared for this year’s Western Montana Fair.

“There are definitely changes,” Marks said. “The main thing that won’t be there is horse racing. They will be planning a new breeding facility and a new rodeo, so they still keep it in our western culture. They upgraded or upgraded the commercial building and the culinary building and installed a bunch of new food kiosks to meet current requirements. So it’s really a fairground rebuilt to attract an audience that has become more urban but still very much wants to have a county fair.

Marks described the duties of a County Extension Officer.

“A county extension agent is very interested in education,” he said. “We are very committed to working with people to bring science, to bring research to them as they work on their problems and try to make their world a better place. We are doing a lot to enrich the social and economic well-being of the community of Missoula. “

Jen and Glenn Marangelo are the guiding forces behind the new Butterfly House and Insectarium which will be part of the $ 16 million project at the fairgrounds.

“The building itself has an interior area of ​​29,000 square feet,” said Jen Marangelo. “As Jerry mentioned, this will house not only our organization, but also the Missoula County District and Extension Service and the Missoula Conservation District. I don’t know if people have ever visited the Missoula Insectarium which was downtown, but this facility will have twice the insectarium exhibit space, and we will have a 2,500ft Butterfly House. squares.

Glenn Marangelo said the new facility has long been in the planning stage.

“It’s certainly not something that came to light overnight,” he said. “It’s something we’re working on together. I was on the founding board of directors for the past five years. These are our two professions. We are both dedicated to our personal and professional lives, but it has been quite the journey. And we’re so excited to finally be where we are now. We are preparing to make this dream that all started so long ago come true.

The dedication ceremony for the new facility will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14 at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, just off the South Avenue entrance, and the public is invited to attend.

Marangelo said the revolution would also coincide with the 80e birthday celebration for County Extension Officer Jerry Marks who has been in the county for 51 years.

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