Arena project in Allentown ahead of schedule, despite recent weather extremes

Posted: 4:18 PM EDT Jul 08, 2013   Updated: 6:18 PM EDT Jul 08, 2013

A new hockey arena in Allentown is 25 percent complete and ahead of schedule, officials said Monday.

"Extremely hot. All you can do is try to drink as much as you can possibly drink," said John Kilgus, a construction worker.

Construction crews battle burning beams of more than 100 degrees in order to create a climate of cool.

"I think the biggest thing is the size," said Mike Leone, project manager. "Before a hole in the ground, and everyone was wondering when are we going to start building."

The project involves a 200-man team that's sole goal is to have the hockey arena ready to open in the fall of 2014.

"Today, we have steel erection going up, block work," Leone said.

That work is paying off. The eight story hotel is up, the arena's bowl is clearly visible and the site's office building is soon to follow. Crews said the recent rain hasn't dampened progress, and the high heat hasn't hurt either.

"With the cold comes the heat, working in all conditions in the construction business," Leone said.

Within the next three weeks, crews said the skin of the building will start to be added.