Construction workers keep calm, carry on in bitter cold

SPOKANE, Wash. - Cold Wx construction vo

While most people try to avoid being outside in the chilly weather, some have no choice to be out there, like outdoor workers who, in the summer, cope with the blistering heat and in the winter cope with the bone numbing cold.

In order for the biggest hotel in Spokane to be built by the summer of 2015, you have to work around the clock to get it done. For the roughly 30 people working on the site each day it means bundling up and braving the cold.

"It's just another part of the job. You got to do it," Andrew Balavage said.

Construction on the hotel, located across the convention center, doesn't stop when it gets chilly, even though some would like it to be about 50-degrees warmer.

Kemp Phelps pours concrete for pre-mix. He's been working outside for 27 years, dealing with rain, snow, heat and the bitter cold.

"It's just a challenge at times, but as long as you're prepared for it, you have to keep a strong mental attitude and just don't let it beat you down," Phelps said.

Balavage said he keeps warm by making some wise purchases.

"I wear some neoprene gloves, seems to keep the cold out a little better and good heavy packed boots to keep the feet warm," he said.

But there is a bright spot for him. He prefers the Arctic cold to a summer heat wave.

"I like the cold because i can always put more on, I can only take so much off when it's hot," he said.

Unfortunately for workers like Balavage and Phelps and the rest on the construction site, they'll have to go through two more summers and winters before the hotel will be completed. On the brighter by next winter up they hope to have the roof up, which will make things easier and warmer for construction crews.