Construction crews are finishing work on an $8.4-million renovation of Mirror Lake on Ohio State’s main campus. The new landscaping and marshy edges are designed to discourage jumping in the lake and give the pond a more natural look. Photo: Laura A. Bischoff

Ohio State drains Mirror Lake ahead of Michigan football game

Ohio State University has temporarily drained Mirror Lake ahead of the school’s annual football game against rival University of Michigan.

OSU announced that the lake was drained for safety concerns and that it will be refilled at a later date. Previously students followed a long-standing tradition of jumping in the lake the night before the OSU-Michigan football game, which this year is scheduled for Nov. 24.

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The university released a statement saying that entering the lake is “destructive and hazardous and is considered criminal trespassing.”

“The Ohio State University Police Division is continuing to monitor the area, and public safety officials have discretion to determine appropriate enforcement action,” the statement reads.

In November 2015, Bellbrook native Austin Singletary, 22, died during the Mirror Lake jump on campus.

Two years later, Ohio State agreed to pay the Singletary family $450,000 to settle a lawsuit. The third year student died of accidental head and neck trauma.

Immediately after Singletary’s death, Ohio State announced it would take steps to end the lake jump tradition, which had drawn thousands of students.

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The university began restoring Mirror Lake to a natural setting a little more than two years ago.

The rebuilding of the lake, which cost $8.4-million, included removing the brick bottom and concrete sides and installing a more natural landscape to the four-foot deep lake. More seating, overlooks and Wi-Fi were also added to make the area more inviting, according to the university.

Mirror Lake started out as a stream and then a bog nearly 145 years ago.

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