Roofer David Alonso had an audience on Friday, as people strolling down Leighton Avenue stopped to watch him and his coworkers finish shingling the steeple at First Christian Church of Anniston. The steeple is almost 110 feet tall, but that didn’t scare Alonso.
“I just feel relaxed up there,” he said to field supervisor and project manager R.P. Peña, who interpreted his Spanish.
The subcontractor group with Brown Roofing started working on the steeple Wednesday and if weather didn’t interfere, were expecting to finish it on Friday. The Rev. Laura Hutchinson of First Christian Church said years of storm damage are to blame for the much-needed repairs to the steeple that she believes has been part of the building since 1888.
“A year ago in March we had some straight-line winds that came through and messed up the roof pretty bad,” she said. “It was a combination of hail damage from one storm and straight-line winds from another. So, we have been working on all of that.”
Peña said this steeple was not the first they have worked on, nor was it the tallest structure they have roofed. He said that title probably belongs to the Jacksonville State stadium, which is nine stories tall.
“It’s quite a task,” Peña said. “It takes a while and is very slow and you have to have guys that aren’t scared of heights.”
Alonso is one of those guys. He’s been a roofer for 10 years and said he’s never been afraid of heights. Peña, on the other hand, would rather give direction from the ground.
“If it’s steep like that, I don’t go up there,” he said.