Mirror Lake set to reopen after major renovations

(WSYX/WTTE)

One of the iconic landmarks on Ohio State's campus is getting ready to reopen. A two-year renovation is over and later this week, students and staff will be able to once again head down to Mirror Lake.

Every day for the last 29 years, Professor Mike Oglesbee has found peace and quiet in a spot near Mirror Lake.

"I bike a lot so it's a quick jaunt over here and, outside of the construction that is going on now, it's always very peaceful," said Oglesbee.

However, his getaway has undergone major changes and it now has new walkways, more seating, and Wi-Fi.

"You didn't really appreciate the potential until the current change," said Oglesbee.

The Mirror Lake District has been under construction since late 2016 and the university has poured more than $8 million into the project.

"It kind of returns it back to its roots," said Ohio State University Communication Director Dan Hedman. "It actually started as a stream and bog, so this returns it back to its more natural state."

Safety measures have also been added after a student died during the traditional lake jump before the OSU - Michigan game. The university hopes the changes will permanently end the long-standing tradition.

"From a safety standpoint we have some soft, gradual edges -- a soft bottom as opposed to a hard bottom and also a shallower lake depth," said Hedman.

The new and improved Mirror Lake is expected to open by the end of the week. Oglesbee said he hopes the renovation can make it a place no longer connected to tragedy.

"I always think of the students who come through here and they're seeing it for the first time," said Oglesbee. "So I think they're going to be creating their own memories in real time."

The university and student government have banned students from jumping in Mirror Lake. However, the university now has the ability to drain the lake within seconds if they ever need to.

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