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Best of OSU: Mirror Lake is campus’ best worst construction site

The Mirror Lake construction began in Autumn 2016 and isn’t expected to be completed until Autumn 2018. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Editor in Chief

In a University District with miles of temporary fencing, a fleet of backhoes and other construction vehicles, and more orange barrels than students, no construction site is as glorious as the Mirror Lake project.

This sprawling undertaking began in Autumn 2016 and has been going strong ever since, disrupting our campus’s most photogenic spot and a great place to study and relax. It also put Mirror Lake Creamery out of commission, which was the closest thing to Five Guys dining dollars could ever buy.

The stated mission for the project is to return Mirror Lake closer to its historical appearance and modernize the surrounding buildings such as Pomerene Hall. So far, even though the project isn’t completed, it’s doing just that — since the history of Mirror Lake is one chock full of construction and renovations.

The final result also will effectively end the Mirror Lake Jump, which is commendable because following Austin Singletary’s death in 2015, Mirror Lake’s history became marked with tragedy.

On a recent sunny afternoon, the entire base of the lake was filled with activity. There were close to two dozen vehicles inside the temporary fencing that goes around the perimeter of the construction site, and real progress has been made on a stone wall on the lake’s north side and a new set of steps to get from The Oval down to the water.   

The exterior of Pomerene Hall — one of campus’ prettiest and oldest buildings — also looks lovely with all the scaffolding gone.

As of now, most of the major construction will be completed by the end of spring. Finishing touches, such as landscaping, will happen over the summer, putting a complete reopening date around the start of Autumn Semester.

So, eventually, this longstanding construction site — Ohio State’s best construction site — will be no more, even if that seems hard to believe.

But don’t worry — the fencing, construction vehicles and orange barrels will probably find somewhere else on campus to go.

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