Night booze buster

June 9, 2000

A United States university is to build a $9 million (Pounds 5.96 million) 24-hour spa and enclosed swimming pool as part of an effort to dissuade its students from drinking. It will also include a whirlpool and other amenities, Pennsylvania State University officials say the complex will be ready by November for students to swim, work out or relax in the spa, day or night. The university has one existing indoor swimming pool, but it closes at 10pm.

The new facility is part of the school's efforts to prevent so-called "binge" drinking. "We have to replace the unhealthy activities with healthy activities," said Paul Ruskin, a spokesman for the university.

Penn State already has a late-night programme, which provides free non-alcoholic functions and activities on Fridays and Saturdays until 2am, including movies, dances, concerts and video games. The programme has been cited by the department of education as a model for drug and alcohol prevention.

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