WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump enjoys a 17-day working vacation in New Jersey, the West Wing of the White House is undergoing extensive, around-the-clock renovations.
The renovations, which include structural repairs to address ceiling leaks, HVAC work and repairs to the South Portico steps on the South Lawn, have also given reporters a glimpse of the West Wing unlike anyone has seen it before, with carpets pulled back, walls devoid of art work and rooms empty.
White House officials, including outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer, gave reporters a brief tour of the West Wing as contractors worked to revamp the West Wing before Trump returns later this month.
The tour included a stop in the Oval Office, its wall covered in plastic and the traditional carpet removed, exposing tricolor parquet floors.
Workers were also seen touching up steps on the South Lawn — cranes overhead — as carpets were removed from the West Wing.
The White House improvements were approved during the Obama administration after an initial round of renovations were completed.
A White House official said the East Wing of the White House will also undergo improvements.
Signs of the renovations have dotted the White House for much of the past seven days.
Walls that once held photos were bare as moving pods were stationed on West Executive Drive between the West Wing and Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Trump plans to remain on his working vacation until later this month, when he returns to the White House and prepares for a crucial September that is stacked with deadlines and legislative priorities.
He will move from his suburban New Jersey golf club on Sunday to spend time at Trump Tower in New York.
But a White House official said Trump is scheduled to fly back to Washington on Monday for a brief trip.
He will return to New York that evening, the official said. It is unclear if he will visit the White House on his quick trip.AlertMe