- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The White House complex is being renovated during President Trump’s working vacation in New Jersey, including refurbishing restrooms in the West Wing and installing a new air-handling unit in the East Wing.

Presidential spokesman Hogan Gidley said many of the renovations have been planned for years “and are critical to be completed now.”

“It is a priority of President Trump’s to ensure safety on the White House complex and continue to preserve the history of ‘The People’s House’ for the next generation of Americans,” Mr. Gidley said.

The White House did not provide a cost estimate for the work. Last summer, a sprucing up of the facilities cost an estimated $3.4 million.

The current renovations including modernizing restrooms on the ground floor and second floor of the West Wing, facilities that haven’t been updated in about 40 years, the White House said.

The West Wing elevator’s wood paneling will be replaced with federal standard, fire-rated paneling and new fixtures and lighting will be installed.

The kitchen of the Navy Mess, a small dining facility in the West Wing for employees, will get new plumbing and drainage upgrades “to address safety concerns and prevent additional water damage,” the White House said. The dining room also requires repairs to wood paneling and faux walls due to cracking, chipping, and wear and tear. The ceiling, lighting, and cabinet doors will also be replaced, the statement said.

In the East Wing, work will include cleaning, spot priming, and painting of the facades of the East Wing and East Terrace.

The presidential residence will get repairs to ceiling cracks that were “creating a safety concern for the First Family, staff, and visitors to the White House,” the White House said. Cracked marble on the State Floor will be repaired, re-grouted and polished. Cracked marble will be repaired and re-grouted.

Also, the National Park Service will replace five doors at the South Portico of the White House, which are weathered and rotting.

In the Eisenhower Executive Office building adjacent to the White House, the General Services Administration will remove and replace asphalt on a driveway and install heat tape to prevent ice accumulation during the winter. The historic Navy Steps of the building will be power-washed.

On the White House grounds, the arbor in the Jackie Kennedy Garden will be removed and rebuilt due to rotting. Cracked pavers below the Jackson Magnolia tree will be removed, the ground underneath regraded, and the pavers reset to fix safety concerns and to improve the appearance around the historic tree, the statement said.

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