Ohio State trustees approve updated plans for Mirror Lake

Private donations expected to cover new overlooks and amenities around iconic lake

By: Chris Booker

Published on June 09, 2017

Plans for the renovated Mirror Lake are moving forward after members of The Ohio State University Master Planning and Facilities Committee signaled their support of a plan to expand the scope of the historic campus location. The full Board of Trustees agreed with the changes Friday.

The planning committee reviewed updated renderings before voting to approve a $2.5 million increase in the Mirror Lake construction project. The additional funding will come from private donations and is for overlooks at Oval Drive and Neil Avenue and other amenities around the lake.

“With the enhancements – but even without – it’s going to be a big addition,” said Keith Myers, associate vice president of Ohio State’s Office of Planning and Real Estate.

A landscape architecture firm was hired “to reimagine the lake as part of the Mirror Lake District to complement Pomerene Hall and to create more safety measures around the lake,” Myers said.

An example of a more natural lake design

One of the goals for the new Mirror Lake is to create a more natural and sustainable lake. The stone and concrete liner that forms the base of the current lake will be removed in favor of a more natural design.

The new Mirror Lake will have more landscaping around the edges of the water and a gradual slope into the lake to make it safer. The depth of the new Mirror Lake will be about four feet and a drain will make it possible to empty the lake in an hour or less.

Myers said the design committee adhered to the most rigorous safety standards, a sentiment echoed by Trustee Alex Fischer.

“We are trying to do everything we can to maintain this iconic feature on campus while making every possible safety consideration,” said Fischer, chair of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee.

The Mirror Lake District, including Browning Amphitheater and  Oxley and Pomerene Halls , will be part of a modern learning environment for students and faculty in data analytics, linguistics and the history of art. Completion of Mirror Lake is expected in 2018.

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