White House visitor center reopens after $12.6 million revamp

WASHINGTON- The White House Visitor Center will reopen on Saturday after a US$12.6 million (S$16 million), two-year makeover, the National Park Service said on Wednesday.

First lady Michelle Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the centre near the White House, the agency said in a statement.

The new centre has nearly 16,000 square feet (1,440 square metres) of remodeled space. It will include an exhibit area, a retail shop and visitor information sites, tactile exhibits for the visually impaired and more than 90 White House artifacts.

Improvements also include interactive exhibits, a large-scale model of the White House and a new permanent museum gallery.

The National Park Service and the nonprofit White House Historical Association partnered on the renovation, with the association providing US$7.5 million.

Washington philanthropist David Rubenstein has pledged another US$5 million for upkeep of the centre.