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Colton Lutheran Church's roofing project brought an unexpected, stylized benefit to its project

Colton Lutheran Church, a historic centerpiece of the community, is having a little work done.

The doors to the church first opened in 1907 and have stood sentry over the community for 114 years. Now, surrounded by scaffolding, it is even harder to miss, and the artistry of the scaffolding company, BrandSafway. Their arrival and work has been a topic of conversation not only at the local cafe, but on social media as well.

The roof needed fixing, so they went looking for help.

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - The specially made scaffolding surrounds the Colton Lutheran Church prior to a project that's underway.

Dennis Curry, BrandSafway construction manager in Portland and Eugene, said in an email that "Safway Services began in the 1936 with a revolutionary 'welded frame scaffold.' Since then, scaffold material has been engineered with a new style called 'modular system scaffold.'

"Systems scaffold is more versatile," Curry said. "It allows us to get places that frames would not allow. "

Guy Elliott, superintendent of the Troutdale BrandSafway branch did the scaffold design for the Colton Lutheran Church reroofing project.

Curry said the scaffold build took seven days with employees working eight-hour shifts to complete the staging project.

"Just the install took six truckloads of engineered systems scaffold for the build," Curry said. "That gear weighed approximately 34,000 pounds. We started the build with a five-person crew — supervisor Brandon Beach, with build workers Damon Batties, Marvin Gonzales Jessica Wayne and Alejandro Rodarte. They remained on the project until it was completed. On the last two days of the build, we had a total of seven people to make sure we could pass gear to the top safely."

According to Curry, the scaffold at the church was built by hand. Each system scaffold part was installed with a hammer and a socket wrench. The scaffold was constantly leveled and plumbed. It has approximately five deck levels. Workers accessed those levels by scaffold ladders that are installed every 6 feet of vertical progress. Curry said the scaffold was designed and approved by an engineer, so materials can be hoisted up instead using a crane.

The company's biggest projects in the Portland metro area have been at the Portland International Airport, Intel and Nike World Headquarters.

People driving past the finished scaffold at the Colton Lutheran Church noticed and commented not just on the artistry of the project but that there were three crosses on top of the scaffold.

"The crosses were a personal touch that my superintendent, Danny Johnston, suggested would be an 'awesome touch to this project,'" Curry said. "A lot of us love Jesus here at BrandSafway, so when the boss said it was OK, I asked the pastor and he OK'd it. We installed the crosses with pride and made the job special."

The roofing job has begun, and when it is finished, Curry said it will take two to three days to disassemble the staging.


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