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Next fall, Penn Engineering and Applied Science students will be able to go from programming in Java to sipping a cup of java, without walking very far. A $225,000 gift from an anonymous donor with close ties to Penn will be used to create a "cybercafe" for Engineering students, Engineering officials said. The facility will be located in the Moore Building's Graduate Research Wing on the 3300 block of Walnut Street. Interim Engineering Dean Eduardo Glandt said the school had suggested the project to the donors, who agreed to fund it. The cybercafe -- which is expected to open by the end of next summer --Ewill give students an opportunity to socialize with friends, drink coffee and check e-mail without leaving the Engineering complex, he explained. "We are aware that the Engineering school is at the very east end of campus, far from most dorms and University facilities," Glandt said. "We must be attentive to the quality of life of our [Engineering] students in school, both inside and outside of the classroom." The Graduate Research Wing, near Bennett Hall, was chosen for the site of this two-floor lounge because it is a relatively modern building. Although a parking lot currently surrounds the building, Glandt mentioned the possibility of "improving the outside [scenery] to make it more appealing." The cybercafe will most likely be open 24 hours since the Engineering complex, consisting of the Towne and Moore buildings, is open all night to PennCard holders through one entrance. Additionally, the school has just put the finishing touches on a new security system that will allow access through all of Towne's four entrances. Although the specifics of the cafe -- such as the architectural design and the number of computers -- have not been finalized, Glandt said "it has long been our dream to have a cappuccino bar, especially for the yuppie students and faculty." Glandt said the school has not decided whether the cybercafe will be available for non-Engineering student use, adding that this should be "pretty much a non-issue" due to its location. He will also consult with Engineering student groups to solicit their opinions. Glandt said the school will undertake a similar project using its own funds to revamp the current Chemical Engineering lounge in the Towne Building. The cafe should serve as "a place where students can mingle and socialize outside of the classroom," said Engineering Student Activities Council Chairperson Alyssa Abo, an Engineering senior.

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