published Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Cook's plans $7 million expansion of Alabama science museum

DECATUR, Ala. — One of the nation's largest pest control companies has big plans to expand a science museum near its Alabama headquarters.

Al.com reports Cook's Pest Control announced Monday it will spend $7 million moving the museum the company opened in the 1960s to a downtown building with 35,000 square feet.

That much space means the Cook Museum of Natural Science, which now has about 1,200 specimens, will get a whole lot bigger. Proposed exhibits include live aquarium displays with tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and a working beehive, plus an underground explorer's cave and an ocean exhibit featuring jellyfish and tropical fish.

Cook's expects to open the new museum in 2015 and anticipates 200,000 visitors in its first year. Another big change: the company will charge admission at the once-free attraction.

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