UPPER WEST SIDE —The American Museum of Natural History Museum will soon be dealing with a bug infestation.
As part of the museum's $340 million expansion over the next three years, the institution will add a 5,000-square-foot "insectarium" featuring live insects and specimen collections, as well as other hands-on exhibits and digital displays, officials announced.
Additions to the museum's Gilder Center are aimed at showcasing specimens and artifacts collected from nearly 150 years of exploration.
“The Gilder Center will empower our visitors to directly engage with 21st-century science and with the larger world around them, while offering inspiring new spaces and opportunities for shared learning, discovery, and community,” museum president Ellen Futter said in a statement.
Above the insectarium will sit a 3,000-square-foot butterfly enclosure featuring a meadow and a pond.
The collection of new exhibition spaces will total 21,000 square feet and will house nearly 4 million specimens, giving museum-goers access to spaces where scientists and visiting scholars will conduct their research, the museum said.
There will also be a massive new "Immersive Theater" containing scanners, microscopes and high-speed cameras.
The Gilder Center will open onto nearby Theodore Roosevelt Park to allow a connection from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue.