Workshop plans Mirror Lake future as a living lab

A lecture about physics is underway at Browning Amphitheater as a class tests water samples along a wetland barrier. Students take notes on iPads of new trees and plant growth in the shadow of Oxley Hall. It’s not the Mirror Lake District of today, but it might be the one of tomorrow.

This week, students, staff and faculty discussed how this historic area could serve as a classroom and laboratory of the future. Two workshops at The Ohio State University Faculty Club focused on how the new Mirror Lake area could be used for academic purposes.

“The change we are making is bringing [Mirror Lake] back to its natural roots,” said University Landscape Architect Steve Volkmann, who helped lead the conversation.

The meetings come as the university Board of Trustees approved about $6 million to fund the restoration of Mirror Lake and the surrounding district.

The district, including Browning Amphitheater and Oxley and Pomerene Halls, is being renovated to create modern learning environments for students and faculty in data analytics, linguistics and the history of art – while keeping the character and history of this iconic part of campus.

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