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Arena workers try to stay on schedule while braving cold

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 24 2014 04:00:48 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2014 05:38:43 PM CST

Construction crews have a deadline to keep at Allentown's arena site.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

With the bitter temperatures the region is experiencing, it's best to stay inside, but with some jobs, workers don't always have a choice.

Construction workers have a deadline to keep at Allentown's arena site and are they're braving the cold to complete the PPL Center.

"We usually have schedules and dates that we're very proud of making so we work very hard at doing that," said John Baer, superintendent with Alvin H. Butz Inc.

Workers know they'll be in the cold so they come prepared.

"Long johns," said Baer. "Multiple sweatshirts."

"Face mask, coveralls, things of that nature, gloves, boots," said Jeff Dussinger, with Orlando Diefenderfer Electric.

They said it helps to wear layers and keep moving.

"We do what we can, stay busy, work hard and get the blood pumping," said Dussinger.

"We have areas within the site where we're allowed to warm up for our breaks and lunch times," added Baer.

While they want to stay on schedule, safety is a priority.

"If we think it's too cold or unsafe, then we simply won't work," said Baer.

By the end of the day, they are ready for some down time.

"Just like you would normally do if you spent all day on the ski slopes, as soon as you hit the warm weather, you shed a lot of clothing, head for the couch, a bowl of chili and you're done for the day," said Baer.

69 News also checked in with the employees at Bennett Toyota Scion to see how they're holding up in the cold.

"Very cold for me being that I'm from Tampa, Florida," said Robert Taylor, the general sales manager. "Some people are a little intimidated by the weather to come out, but we have a system here that actually helps. Our salesman will go out and pick up the car they ask us for. We'll go out, pick it out and bring it into this room, which is a heated room, go over the vehicle with them." 

Taylor said showing customers cars in a heated room means very little time outside. He said he thinks the weather does affect sales.

"I just think people don't come out after a certain time because of the cold weather. They don't want to walk around a lot, they don't want to get into a cold car, drag their children out in the cold weather," he said. "I believe they are a little down. If I look at last year's, what they did last year compared to this year, I'd say they're down probably 20 cars or so."