Stone Lab Construction Continues | Ohio Sea Grant

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Stone Lab Construction Continues

11:49 am, Thu July 29, 2021 – A new research setup along with a new maintenance garage will expand Stone Lab's research capabilities for 2022 and beyond

In 2019, Stone Lab received $2.65 million from Ohio Senate Bill 299, the Clean Lake 2020 Plan, for a new building and equipment for the Lake Erie laboratory, as well as for water quality monitoring equipment in the Maumee River. While construction was delayed in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, work quickly picked up this spring and continues to go mostly on schedule.

A building frame covered in semi-translucent plastic film, with workers in safety yellow shirts

The new mesocosm facility is taking shape and will offer researchers the opportunity to perform controlled experiments with lake water.

The new building is located on South Bass Island’s Peach Point, just north of downtown Put-in-Bay. About 2,000 square feet of space are split between a lab expansion that adds space for research and teaching and a set of outdoor flow-through tanks – also called mesocosms – that was specifically requested by Ohio researchers and includes tanks that allow researchers to do real-time experiments with actual lake water.

The mesocosm membrane frame was constructed and inflated in late July, and workers are now connecting sewer lines to Put-in-Bay’s water treatment facility. Component parts for the pump house that will bring lake water into the mesocosms have to be custom-built overseas, where shipping and other delays due to the pandemic may delay completion until at least late October, but other parts of the construction process will continue as much as possible.

A rectangular wooden building covered in insulation wrap

The new maintenance garage behind the Bayview Office building

In addition to the new research space, Stone Lab is also getting a new maintenance garage that passed inspection in late July. Workers are currently digging lines for utility pipes and cables, but barring any delays, staff should be able to move into the new space in September.

And once that happens, another flexible lab space in the old maintenance shop will be ready for some additional planned upgrades!

ARTICLE TITLE: Stone Lab Construction Continues PUBLISHED: 11:49 am, Thu July 29, 2021
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Christina Dierkes
Outreach Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

As Ohio Sea Grant’s science writer, Christina covers research, education and outreach projects in the Great Lakes for a wide range of audiences. She also produces online events like the Freshwater Science webinar series and other outreach events, and manages social media for Ohio Sea Grant.