Maryville College bat condo welcomes new residents

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After construction uncovered a huge bat colony in a building scheduled for extensive renovation on the Maryville College campus, officials had a question.

It wasn't a question of whether to cancel the $6.8 million dollar renovation; it was a question of what to do with almost 2,000 bats.

While it was clear that the bats couldn't go on living in the belfry, the college didn't want to outright evict them, either, because the bats were an important part of the ecosystem.

The answer, it turns out, was a bat condo.

Students and staff on the Maryville College campus have installed several bat boxes around campus - as well as the one large "bat condo" that can house thousands of bats.

In the meantime, renovations on the bats' previous home in Anderson Hall continue. The bats are expected to return to campus this spring.

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