Just off the North Lawn of the White House, directly in front of the entrance to the West Wing and across from the Old Executive Office Building, sits a large hole.
The area has been under construction for more than a year, and while the noise of jackhammers has given White House staffers headaches and caused television reporters to scream into microphones, the inconvenience has become a source of intrigue.
While the General Services Administration, the organization that’s been supervising the work, says the construction is to upgrade the building’s antiquated utilities, which include sewer lines, electrical systems and air-conditioning units, few believe that is the only thing that’s going on.
“It is security-related construction,” one official told The New York Times.
Some believe it’s an expansion of the the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, while others guess the construction is to add underground access from the White House to the Old Executive Office Building, or to the Treasury Building.
The jokes have also come in, is it a new swimming pool? A presidential man cave? A way to create jobs?
Here are some of the ideas you submitted: John K. – It’s a rabbit hole in our Alice-in-Wonderland world these days. GregGW - A tunnel to Target so Michelle Obama can go there any time she wants. Dennis Moore – Another hole in Washington to pour our tax dollars down. Sarah Tolford – It’s a money pit! Brian Michael – A tunnel to China! Chriss Ellis – It’s for the new UFC-style “octagon,” which will replace the antiquated approach of negotiation with Congress. A bonus: there will actually be less bloodshed this way. Frank Hanson - They need to put the debt somewhere. Ashleigh Zelaya – It’s a burial site for the American dream. David Kipfmiller - Shovel ready jobs. Donna B. – Hopefully a time-out room for congress and the senate. Gary Bregar – They are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
The only thing known for sure is that details are in short supply and speculation is running rampant.
The dig outside the West Wing is the first step in a $376 million project that will last for four years and progress across the North Lawn all the way to the East Wing. The West Wing portion alone is costing $86 million.
ABC News’ Ann Compton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.