Monday, September 20, 2010

White House Renovation

It seems the White House is in bad shape, really bad shape. According to Bob Peck of the General Services Administration, the home of our Presidents has not received a substantial upgrade and renovation for nearly a century. Renovations began on the electrical wiring and plumbing of the White House. On-site construction administrators say the old infrastructure is so dangerous it will take about 4 years to complete at a cost to the tax-payers of $376 million.

Wow, I had no idea how bad it was, but I have to question whether, given the current economic situation, now is the right time to spend money on this. I mean, can’t the money can be better spent? $376 million dollars after all…

The funding for the work was approved by Congress in 2008. Apparently, it will go on for the next four irritatingly loud and messy years. The reason? Well, it seems that much of the electrical wiring and plumbing in the offices of the White House, including most of the West Wing and the situation room, had been causing problems for some time. It’s being called a “facelift,” but it seems not to involve any aesthetic improvements, just functional ones.

Despite this, $376 million is a gigantic figure for anything, especially during a time when jobs are increasingly scarce and the economy, more than anything, appears in need of renovation. When Bob Peck, who oversees the project was asked about this he responded, “It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to have a building that’s the image of the free world standing up there and not functioning well.” I agree, but I am having a hard time understanding how it can cost $376 million dollars just to upgrade electrical wiring and plumbing. Oh, wait, I forgot, this is a government run project.

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