After nearly two years and $86 million worth of noisy and disruptive construction, the West Wing has emerged from its visual seclusion remarkably unchanged. And deep underground, whatever has been built there remains shrouded in mystery.
If you ask what the next phase is in this massive, four-year project, the official answer is “TBD” – to be determined.
But now the fence has come down, revealing the familiar whitewashed sandstone facade and the lone Marine guard who stands watch at the entrance to the West Wing lobby.
Sure, there’s an official explanation:
The General Services Administration, which oversaw the work, said it was to replace aging water and steam lines, sewers, storm sewers and electrical wiring conduits. Heating, air conditioning and fire control equipment also are being updated, officials said.
But as we all know, ‘official explanations’ are only so official:
However, what reporters and photographers saw during the construction appeared to go well beyond that: a sprawling, multistory structure whose underground assembly required truckload after truckload of heavy-duty concrete and steel beams.
The GSA went to great lengths to keep the work secret, not only putting up the fence around the excavation site but ordering subcontractors not to talk to anyone and to tape over company info on trucks pulling into the White House gates.
Even if the press can’t figure out what, exactly, went down, I know who might have a pretty good idea [see 2:47; when you embed a Youtube video, you can’t point it to a specific time]:
Dude dhas it! Blog post OVA!*
*see second link above