From the most recent White House Chronicle, by Washington Times WH correspondent Joe Curl:
The massive renovation of the White House briefing room off the West Wing will finally be complete next week, and one worker in the executive mansion deserves nearly all the credit.
No, not President Bush, but his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin.
Hagin, who has worked at the White House through three administrations, has been in charge of the project from the get-go. And he has won praise all around for his collaborative effort with the press corps.
“Those of us in the press corps often take a skeptical look at this, or any, administration,” said Steve Scully, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “But when it came to the briefing room project, we were grateful to Joe Hagin.”
A plan to completely renovate the briefing room began in the Clinton administration, but other priorities prevented that from happening.
“Joe Hagin began pushing for this five years ago, realizing the place was a firetrap; it was long, long overdue; and the press room needed to be upgraded for 21st-century communication. In July, we will be moving back to a completely rebuilt state-of-the art facility and, in large measure, this would not have happened without Hagin’s efforts.
Anyone who has renovated a kitchen, built a home, or put on an addition knows the hassles these projects face. Hagin was a driving force behind the White House, GSA, the architects, and the contractors to get this done,” Scully said.
Hagin returned the praise. “It really has been an incredible team effort. The White House Correspondents’ Association–Steve Scully in particular–GSA, the White House staff, all the people have really worked well,” he said.