"I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off," said Donald Trump in 2015, per NPR. And the White House insists that working is what he'll be doing during his 17-day vacation, which began Friday, at his Bedminster, NJ, golf club. Doing his job from the Oval Office wasn't an option, explains deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters. "I don't think any of you would like to be in the West Wing [on] an August DC summer day when it's over 100 degrees with no air conditioning," she said. Indeed, a $3.4 million West Wing revamp is underway, and the New York Times takes a look at what's happening.
What the Times calls a "dodgy" air-conditioning system put in place 27 years ago (and 81 years old in "functional" years, per Walters, due to its extreme 24/7 use) will be replaced. The South Portico steps on the South Lawn will be repaired, and things as mundane as ceiling leaks will be fixed; CNN reports the ceiling in parts of the Lower Press area has been dripping and emitting a "foul odor." CNN also suggests a chronic house fly problem that has plagued the Oval Office will be addressed. And, says Walters, "there will be no more yellow," a reference to the cosmetic overhaul that will occur, with carpets and wall colors set to be changed up. A White House staffer on Friday tweeted a photo of the Oval Office, empty save for a ladder.