COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) --Ohio State University has drained an iconic lake at the center of campus to try to figure out how to lessen its economic and environmental impact.

The university is paying $24,000 to a consultant to evaluate issues related to the sustainability, safety and aesthetic nature of Mirror Lake.

The lake was emptied Monday and will stay that way for several months. Study results are expected early next year.

The university says it costs more than $40,000 a year to keep Mirror Lake filled.

The lake varies from 2 1/2 feet to 8 feet deep and holds about 1 million gallons.

It's the site of an annual plunge that draws thousands of people the week of the Ohio State-Michigan football game.

(Photo: Vince Tornado)