It’s time for White House staffers in the West wing to pack up and move — temporarily — to make way for necessary structural and cosmetic renovations.
Much of the White House face lift began Friday, as President Trump departed for what a White House official called a “working vacation.” Mr. Trump denies it’s a vacation, however.
It should be noted that the renovations have nothing to do with Mr. Trump’s reported opinion that the(the president tweeted that the report was “TOTALLY UNTRUE”).
The president will spendin Bedminster, New Jersey, while renovations are underway.
“All of us in lower press will miss seeing you guys every day but we’re definitely looking forward to the much-needed renovations in the HVAC system, as well as throughout the rest of the West Wing,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told members of the media during a gaggle on Air Force One.
The 27-year-old White House heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are showing their age, so they’re being replaced, leaving the West Wing without air conditioning temporarily. The West Wing lower lobby and in the Navy Mess kitchen, a small dining facility located in the West Wing basement are also being renovated.
The Navy Mess kitchen is run by the Navy and is available only to senior White House officials, Cabinet secretaries and their guests.
In back of the White House, the South Portico steps will get a much-needed update. The steps were rebuilt during President Harry Truman’s major renovation of the White House in 1952 and have not been repaired since.
The renovation project was approved by the Obama administration following a previous update to White House utilities, but was never initiated. The work will be carried out by the, an independent government agency that helps maintain federal office space and oversees historic preservations.
Staff will be relocated to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door for at least two weeks. They were required to move many of their belongings out of their West Wing offices and “Pods,” full of furniture and personal items, currently line West Executive Avenue next to the White House.
The staff relocation includes a move for the White House Press Office team out of their offices near the White House Briefing Room.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s trip to New Jersey will be the fifth visit to his New Jersey golf club as president. He last visited the golf club three weeks ago, when the U.S. Women’s Open was held on the premises.
Courtesy of JILLIAN HUGHES, LOUISE DUFRESNE @CBSnews.com