The project outside the West Wing, said to be renovation of the building’s air-conditioning and electrical systems.
WASHINGTON — President Obama, who has been traveling the country urging Congress to pass his jobs bill so Americans can be put to work on infrastructure projects, need only look out a window in the West Wing to see one such project. Under way on his front lawn for the last 17 months, it is highly visible and yet mysterious.For the first time in recent memory, the ground and pipes beneath the Oval Office are exposed, and each day, workers lower massive concrete blocks several stories underground. Cranes, trucks and construction workers file in and out of the hole, usually through a passageway between the White House and the Old Executive Office Building.
The cavernous hole has inspired much speculation. Is it an Olympic-size swimming pool for the fitness-conscious first couple? A more spacious bunker? A place, perhaps, to hide the deficit?
The General Services Administration says it is an elaborate renovation of the building’s aging air-conditioning and electrical systems. These upgrades take place periodically, a G.S.A. spokeswoman, Sara Merriam, said, adding that Washington’s Big Dig would soon continue on the other side of the White House grounds.
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