According to reports, President Donald Trump will soon have spent more than 50 days away from the White House, including trips to his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. Over the next few weeks, he's spending some time in Bedminster, New Jersey, at his golf course. But just because the president is away doesn't mean the White House won't be bustling with activity. If you're wondering what is being renovated at the White House while Trump is on summer vacation, the answer lies in the West Wing.
According to USA Today, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems will be replaced, the South Portico's steps will be restored, and the Navy mess kitchen and the lower lobby will be repaired. Rooms will be painted and new carpet will also be installed. The New York Times reported that the two-week renovations are estimated to cost $3.4 million.
The air conditioning and heating system in the West Wing is 27 years old, but with its constant use, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters reasoned that the situation is "dire," according to The New York Times. It was originally supposed to be replaced in 2014, but because plans weren't ready until 2016, former President Barack Obama's administration decided to leave it and allow the incoming administration to make their own plans.
The White House building itself was in the news recently after reports arose that Trump had called the White House a "real dump." According to a report from golf.com, Trump had told some members of his New Jersey golf club that he takes trips away from the president's house often because it's a dump. Trump, however, has denied that this happened, tweeting, "I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump - TOTALLY UNTRUE."
When the end of summer grows nearer around each August, presidents tend to take some time to vacation. While Trump is away and the White House is under construction, the remaining staff have decamped to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door, according to The New York Times.
However, Trump was insistent that the trip will not serve as a vacation, tweeting on Saturday that he will be making calls and taking meetings during his time away.
Likely, there will be quite a few changes awaiting Trump when he returns from New Jersey, and hopefully a heating and cooling system that will keep the White House running.