Say a little prayer for the White House press corps–they only need to work in a firetrap for the next seven months, and then they’ll be living in the lap of luxury.
Word yesterday from the Post’s Jim VandeHei, who as a White House regular has a certain vested interest in a nicer working space, that the long-awaited renovation of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room has a timetable–perhaps as early as July.
The briefing room, VandeHei says, “has all the comforts of a 1970s schoolroom: cramped, ergonomically challenged desks and seats for reporters, and no high-speed Internet access. If this sounds like whining from a pampered reporter, here’s more to stew over: The renovation will be paid for largely by taxpayers.”
You might remember that this project was supposed to start in late summer this year, but as VandeHei writes, “like most government projects, the press room’s makeover has been slowed by delays.”
“Our great hope is that what results will be a major improvement in our quality of life,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Mark Smith wrote to his colleagues last week.
The cost of the project is TBD, although the government will bear much of the infrastructure cost and the news organizations are likely to only pay for the assorted specific items they require.
The renovations have wide support among the reporters tired of toiling in terrible cramped conditions–well, except that is, for CBS’ Mark Knoller. He wrote back to the group last week saying that after a few weeks, the press corps will have turned the renovated room back into a dump.
Full WHCA memo after the jump.