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Interview with Pat Pellegrino, Jr. Assistant Superintendent, LF Driscoll

Pat PellegrinoHow long have you been a construction worker?
I've been a construction worker for 12 years. I graduated high school in 1988 and I started my carpenter's apprenticeship in 1989.

What made you want to be a construction worker?
My father is a union carpenter and my grandfather was a union bricklayer. I'm good with my hands and I'm handy around the house, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I figured if I didn't like it I could still go to college and get an office job.

What's your normal day on the job like?
I get up early -- 5:15 and I'm on site by 7. It's very hectic on this project ... there's a lot of work to do in a little amount of time. I'm an assistant superintendent with Driscoll, so I spend a lot of time in meetings coordinating different trades -- electricians, plumbers.

Do you ever walk on the high steel beams?
If you want to walk a beam you have to be safe. You have to wear a harness and a hardhat, safety glasses and gloves. I love going out in a harness ... I'd rather be up high than on the ground! Deep down I think I'm an ironworker at heart, instead of a carpenter.

Can you be a construction worker if you're afraid of heights?
You can be afraid of heights all you want! But you don't want to be an ironworker if you're afraid of heights. You can be a carpenter, a floorlayer or a seat installer.

Have you ever gotten hurt on the job?
I haven't gotten hurt on this project, except that my hands are a mess with scrapes and scratches. But I was unloading furniture on a job once, and I broke my wrist and pinkie. I was out of work the whole summer.

How many buildings have you worked on?
I've worked on a lot of buildings. I worked at the CoreStates Center. I loved watching the Flyers and the Sixers practicing!

Do you like to visit the buildings after you finish?
I love to do that more than anything. I can go into a room and look at the molding and say, "Yeah, I put that piece up there," or "I hung that door over there." And at CoreStates I was there the first time they made the ice and drove the Zamboni into the building. I even got to skate on the ice and shoot some pucks! That was awesome.

Have you ever worked on a building like The Kimmel Center?
I've never worked on a building quite like this. It's one in a million. There are acoustics guys who listen to the walls with stethoscopes listening for sounds in the walls! It's a unique building. I'll never see another one like it.

What's you favorite part of The Kimmel Center?
Definitely the concert hall. That's where I've been working for the last year and a half. There is a tremendous amount of woodworking, and that's my favorite thing -- to carve wood. I'm just glad that I can be involved in this project.