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Franklin Institute and the Emergency Egress

Sounds like something from the minds of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay

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The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.  They are currently hosting the Titanic Artifact Exhibition – and they are putting a new addition onto the side of the building.  This is where Superior Scaffold comes in.

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The needed an emergency egress – to put it simply, an emergency exit stairwell from the second floor down to the ground.  Sounds simple, right?  Of course not.  Why?  Because the ground beneath the proposed emergency stairwell is being excavated.  Something about spy tunnels from the old Manhattan project that run from the basement of the Franklin Institute across the street into the basement of another building.  Now, this is just conjecture offered up from some unnamed sources on the job.  But just think about it.  How cool would that be?

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Since I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations we can only assume that Oppenheimer and his crew were shuttling top secret plans back and forth while developing the world’s most destructive weapons.  Or it just could be that something beneath the ground needs to be removed or updated for structural reasons.  Stairs, water pipes, electrical, who knows?  You make the call???  Maybe Jerry Bruckheimer should make a movie.  Superior Scaffold stars in:   Ha.

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Either way, the egress could not be built straight from the second floor down to the ground.  This is where the creative chaps at Superior Scaffold come in and design a scaffold that spans the 36’ area that’s being excavated and then takes you down to ground level.  Since they had to span the gap – they designed a free standing 4′ X 5′ X14′ high unit that sits 40’ away from the exit of the building.

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You can see where Superior engineer Bob Robinson called for a thru-bolted channel on the side of the building to carry the giant 40’ steel beams.  Then on top of those beams they constructed a 5’ wide walkway that takes people out and over the excavation below.

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So when you look out of the second floor about to exit you will see a walkway that spans the excavation below, completely covered and hand railed.   On the other side of the deck are the stairs that take you down.  Problem solved.

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And since it was free standing, the guys put a roof on it, added hand rails and debris netting around the sides to knock down the elements.  It’s quite a lovely emergency egress.

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You see, it’s the simple things in life that make people happy.  Superior is the best at coming up with functional solutions that make clients happy.

http://www2.fi.edu/

http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/the-franklin-institute/


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A smoking hot expansion at Holt’s Cigar Company

When you are in Philly and you want a Cigar there is only ONE name – Holt’s Cigar Company in Center City.  Founded in 1898, Holt’s has been synonymous with the region’s finest imported premium handmade cigars.

Holt's Cigar Company, front-walnut-st

Nothing defines Holt’s Cigar Company more clearly than its Center City Philadelphia flagship retail location where for a hundred years, cigar lovers have flocked to the friendly confines and relaxing atmosphere of the company’s quality cigar shop. The ambiance and aromas, as well as one of the nation’s largest walk-in humidors and luxurious smoking lounge attracts thousands of cigar aficionados and novices alike to Holt’s Cigar Company.

Because of high demand they are expanding again.  And with space being limited at their Center City location (1522 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19102) they decided to extend out into the back alley.  To do this they needed some expert help – so they called Superior Scaffold.

superior scaffold, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, solutions, construction, inspection, PA, philadelphiaHolt's cigar company expansion, 32
What it looked like before phase 2 went up.
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Obstacles on the neighbor’s back wall.

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The entryway off of the street.

Look at the photos.  There is very little room to work with in that tiny little alley.  Access was a huge challenge.  As was the two sections that had to be built and then connected to make the finished product.  And on top of that – Superior had to go to the business directly behind Holt’s to see if they would let them erect scaffolding so crews could get to and finish the exterior of the new edition on the back of Holts.  I know it’s hard to see but just imagine, if you will, Holts blowing out the back of their warehouse and butting up right against the opposing neighbor’s back wall – Neighbor working with neighbor to get this done.

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Back of Holt’s where the expansion is – see the L shape to the right.
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Superior Scaffold’s engineer, Bob Robinson.

Superior engineer, Bob Robinson, and estimator Pat McAndrew, had to devise a way to get the support needed in around this existing roof without actually placing scaffolding on top of it.  Robinson devised a plan to rest the entire scaffolding on the existing capstone and actually bolt channels into the old brick of the neighbor’s wall. This would give necessary support and enough room for everyone to work comfortably in the confines of the alley.  They decided to erect it in two phases.

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Looking at phase 2 resting on capstones.
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Protecting the capstone sitting on the cement.
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Attaching channels to 100 year old wall – support rails in brick.
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A view below the stringers and deck – looking underground.

Phase one is the side where these photos were taken.  It’s looking out from Holt’s new addition.  This section was 4’ wide X 10’ long X 40’ high.  It faced the studded wall of the new edition, pretty straight forward stuff.  Phase 2 was the harder leg and would be connected by 3’ outriggers giving crews access to each section.
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New studs in place at the top level.
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Phase one completed.
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At the top in between the two buildings. The new addition on the left.

The second phase, the upper section, was 4’ wide X 23’ long and 30’ high and would be built over the existing roof.  (or onto) pic 33 and would go all the way up the side of the neighbor’s structure – about another 30 feet. It would allow crews to do the exterior finish work on the opposite wall on Holt’s new addition.

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The second phase, the lower section, was 4’ wide X 10’ feet long X 40’ high.

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Looking down onto phase 2 building up from the roof below.
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The top level of the expansion – 40′ high.

The two sections were connected by 3’ outriggers giving crews access to each section.

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Scaffolding around obstructions.

There were several obstructions that had to dealt with like the old exhaust unit.  The new steel for the wall was bolted to the old brick wall for support.  Crews will fill in the old brick wall when everything comes back down.

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Attaching channels to 100 year old wall – support rails in brick.

Every piece of gear, scaffolding, trusses, etc had to come through a tiny portal off of the side street and carried through a tiny access way into the back alley.  There, it had to be assembled and erected with great care.

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Entryway to the back of the building. Very narrow.
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The dungeon where all things had to pass.

Needless to say that both phases went up without a hitch.  Another Superior solution.

Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200


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Going off the deep end with scaffolding…

The Princeton Medical Center at Plainsboro, NJ is adding on to their illustrious hospital with two new rehabilitation pools.   The crews needed to get access to the ceiling to do some repairs and additions.  Well, with swimming pools spanning the entire room it makes it a bit difficult to reach up that high.

So they called Pat McAndrew at Superior Scaffold and said, “Help.”   Since they had spent most of their budget on these incredible pools they were looking for a low cost alternative to just scaffolding the entire pools all the way up to the ceiling.   They also wanted to use Baker/Painter scaffolds to roll from one end of the pool area ceiling to another.

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So, they creatively devised a plan that would put an 8’ scaffolding tower down into the center of the large pool from the 3’ shallow end down to the 9’ deep end.  They used 8’ horizontal trusses at deck height and then ran aluminum joists from side walls to trusses at 16” centers.  The entire thing was then topped off with a deck of ¾” plywood.  This would allow the baker scaffold to roll freely around the entire room while allowing crews to reach to the ceiling.  You can see just how wide and deep this room is.

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Now, the small pool was a bit different.  They rested aluminum joists on the concrete side walls at 16” centers and then topped that off with plywood.  Since it was only 18’ in diameter the aluminum joists would be able to support all of the weight put upon them.

Bingo, bango, bongo… another Superior solution and satisfied customer.  Superior specializes in creative solutions for scaffolding problems.  Call 215 743-2200 to see what Superior can do for you.


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Holy Erection, Batman – 13th & Chestnut Emergency Services call to Superior Scaffold

I love it when we can help someone out in a pinch.  That’s why we have the emergency services line.  (215) 743-2200.  Kind of like the Bat phone for scaffolding.  I’d like to think that our very own Bob Sarkisian is Batman (in a way).  But really, the only time he’s like the caped crusader is when he’s climbing the side of a building in one of his swing stages or answering the Bat phone, like this case.
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We say it – and we mean it.  We will have crews on-site within 24 hours and the problem solved or at least in motion shortly thereafter.  We really do have the fastest response teams in the industry.  And I’m not just saying that because Batman (Sarkisian) and his trusty partner Robin (Shawn MacDonald) have me squeezed tighter than Anita Bryant and some Florida orange juice.  But it’s true.  In reality, it’s mostly MacDonald who acts more like Batman on these emergency service calls.  I guess trusty sidekicks are always quick to slip into their leader’s shoes when they aren’t around.  But I digress…
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The guys over at 13th and Chestnut needed to get to the top elevation for some cornice repairs and reconstruction.  And they needed to get up “air” fast.  The job was put into overdrive.  From the time Batman (Sarkisian) at Superior Scaffold took the call – all the way through design, engineered drawings, approval, and erection it took only 7 days.   We even added containment netting too.
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Bam!  Pow!  Zap!  Done!  Holy Bat Erection.

Yes, another satisfied customer.  So when you need something in an emergency situation – don’t turn on the Bat signal (Sarkisian or McDonald will never see it – too busy analyzing what effect Bat guano has on steel cross braces) make the call to Superior Scaffold’s emergency service line (215) 743-2200.  You won’t be disappointed.

More pics to come, as the job continues.


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Shoring up the Ben Franklin Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The new Benjamin Franklin museum just off of 4th & Market in an area known as “Franklin Court” is under way.  This will be Philadelphia’s newest exhibit about Ben Franklin and when completed, the new Benjamin Franklin Museum will be underground!

The exterior or top of the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
Ben Franklin Museum – new concrete slabs and support steel.

Yes, an underground museum.  And that’s all well and good but it posed some real challenges when it came time to do the expansion.  You just can’t take a hundred and fifty year old building and slap a bunch of exhibits inside.  You need a complete redesign to support the architect’s vision.  And that exactly what they got.

If ever you wanted to see what shoring actually does – this is the time.  You can clearly see the work going on above the shoring and below the shoring.  It always amazes me at the sheer weight that these post shores can hold when you take in consideration the cement and steel necessary to make a job like this happen.

Beneath the concrete slabs you can see the shoring necessary to hold up the new steel and cement.

This was an extensive demolition of an old structure to open up the building.  Walls had to be removed, ceilings had to be shored up so new steel and concrete could be poured to support the new additions.

The view from below the concrete pour going on above in the first shots.
Another view from the basement.

15” thick Concrete slabs were poured and giant concrete beams were brought in to help support the weight.  That was probably the biggest challenge on the job.  The steel was so long it took several cranes and expert crews to get them in through the alley and into place.  Superior Scaffold shoring guru, Bob Robinson, had to calculate all of the weight loads so the proper equipment could be utilized and the work done safely and up to code.

The underneath shot.
What’s going on above the shoring.

Some of the concrete beams in the new design were 36” wide X 42” deep and spanned 42 feet  column-to-column!

When it’s all done, the exhibits will be divided up into different rooms that reflect various aspects of his personality and his life.  The museum will feature interactive displays exploring his life as a private citizen and statesman through individual, room-like installations. The library is intended to be the culminating experience.  Other 21st century additions to the underground museum include interactive elements like touch screen kiosks, a computerized version of Franklin’s glass armonica a musical instrument employing glass and water to create sound, and two-minute animated vignettes designed to help visitors understand critical turning points in Franklin’s life.

A clear view of the shoring necessary to support the work going on above.

More information:

CBS local news coverage on the job.

Click here for news on the construction job.


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Truly amazing 4 story shoring project in Princeton, NJ

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Surprise, surprise, surprise.  I walked into this old building thinking I would find a few dirty post shores holding up a section of calapsing entryway or maybe even a portion of cieling that needed support but what I found was truly amazing.

Now, shoring isn’t the most glamourus sector of the construction industry – relegated to dusty old basements and haunted houses deep in the underbellies where ghosts and spiders live…  So this renovation at  the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart  at 1128 Great Road was a pleasant surprise.  They are expanding this old structure in a big way, updating the old 4 story brick school building to a more open style learning environment.   But to do that – they needed to take out most of their support walls and put new steel and concrete in to carry the weight.  Normally, not a big deal because you do it one floor at at time.

But this job was doing it ALL AT ONCE…  Yes, 4 massive floors of concrete and steel being supported or shored up at once.

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, superior scaffold, shoring, 353

These old buildings once had many rooms and walls that would support the weight of the ceiling/floor above them.  Take a look at these pictures and see just how incredible a task it was to support the floors above one another simultaneously.

superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia, 350  superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia, 349

The really unique challenge here was that most projects like this work on one floor at a time as the new steel and concrete are added.  Once that structure is stable and in place you move to the next floor up the line.

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But with this project, Superior Scaffold engineer, Bob Robinson, had to design a shoring system that supported the existing steel and concrete for ALL 4 FLOORS AT ONCE!  Crews could then modify and add the new steel and supports needed for the additional weight.

superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia ,362  superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia ,356

You can see the bottom floor in the photographs.  This was where the bulk of the support weight was being carried from the floors above it.  Robinson had to calculate the weight loads and provide the proper shoring equipment necessary to keep this project standing.  All of the architectural drawings had to be PE stamped in NJ before the project could begin.

superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia ,340  superior scaffold, shoring, scaffold rental, scaffolding rental, PA, NJ, Phildelphia ,345

Currently, the bottom and the second floors are complete.  We will bring you updates and photos as the job gets closer to completion.

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Superior solutions for shoring projects call (215) 743-2200

http://www.princetonacademy.org/main/index.html

http://www.facebook.com/PrincetonAcademy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Academy_of_the_Sacred_Heart

Additional information on the school.

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is an independent all-boys Catholic school located in Princeton, New Jersey and is part of the Sacred Heart Network of Schools. Princeton Academy serves students from Junior Kindergarten through grade 8 and is the only all-boys Catholic primary school in the state of New Jersey.[2] The school operates within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.


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Creative Scaffolding Solutions at Eisenhower Middle School, Norristown, PA

We get this call quite a bit.  And even though it’s a smaller job, we wanted to show you what can be done when there doesn’t not seem to be an easy solution.

The good people at Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy were installing a new HVAC unit and couldn’t figure out how to make the tie-in at the top safely using their ladders and scissor lifts, so they called Superior Scaffold.

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Superior estimator and creative guru, Pat McAndrew, quickly devised a solution that put system scaffolding on either side of the unit and then added an access ladder and 2 decks for workers on the top so they could span the section across the apex of the HVAC unit.  Crews were then able to safely tap into the duct work up top and then down into the HVAC unit itself.

It looks simple, but trust us, it takes an expert designer to devise a safe and simple solution like this.

Call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200 when you need creative scaffolding solutions.


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Shoring up the AAA Mid-Atlantic Headquarters Building, Philadelphia, PA.

Superior Scaffold was called in to provide heavy-duty shoring for the New AAA building conversion into apartments.  And when we say heavy duty, we mean it.  The design for this 4 story building calls for adding an additional 8 FLOORS!!! Wow.

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The building at 21st and Market (2040 Market) was built in 1968 and was a 5 story structure (including a floor of underground parking)

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PCM Property Group and their architects Stephen Varenhorst Architects needed the best in the business when they had to shore up the existing structure, remove the old columns and replace them with new, even larger supports.

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Superior salesman, Anthony Pini, worked with PCM to design a custom solution using heavy-duty kip shores that would allow enough room for crews to work in and around each column.  Most of the pics show at least a 25 Kip (25,000 Lb) load capability.  You can see where crews set up to pour new heavy duty footers and Superior gave them plenty of room while still shoring up the floor above.

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The real challenge was that the engineers kept changing the size and scope of the building footers as they added new floors.  At one time Superior had to shore up the entire length of the building to support the additional weight above.  Instead of shoring up one portion and then removing the old footer and pouring a newer larger one (able to handle more weight), and then moving to the next one, engineers decided to remove all of the footers in one fell swoop and pour them all at the same time…

Shoring, scaffolding, scaffold, rental, contractor, superior scaffold  Shoring, scaffolding, scaffold, rental, contractor, superior scaffold

Think about that for a second…  That means that the ENTIRE weight of the building is being supported by our steel beams and shoring columns.  Sounds wonderful, and hey, we always accommodate…  So after several site changes we settled on a solution and put it into place.  We shored up the entire building while the new, stronger, larger, more incredible ones were poured to support the additional 8 floors that were about to be added on top of the structure.  We rocked.  It rocked.  Everything was a huge (and I mean huge) success.

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Several sections needed shoring; the larger exposed areas that where going to be modified to handle the new structure above, and then the smaller sections tucked back in the lower floors.  Superior provided shoring support for both areas.

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When it’s all said and done this building will have 282 units and will be the largest number of new apartments in the past two years.  It will also increase the square footage from 120K to 300K.

To read more click on the following links.

http://corporate.pmcpropertygroup.com/node/108

http://philadelphiaheights.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/large-new-apartment-development-on-market-street-west/

http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/natalie-kostelni/2012/06/pmc-making-progress-on-turning-aaa.html

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Scaffolding walkway at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, PA

Here’s a nifty little job.  Something you might not see everyday: An Interior Canopy. scaffold rental philadelphia, scaffolding rental philadelphia, superior scaffold Now, you might be asking yourself, why would Superior Scaffold put something that is normally outside on the sidewalk, inside a hospital? scaffold rental philadelphia, scaffolding rental philadelphia, superior scaffold  scaffold rental philadelphia, scaffolding rental philadelphia, superior scaffold It’s simple, really – Chestnut Hill Hospital needed to remain open for business while repair crews replaced the skylights in the entire lobby and vestibule.  By putting what amounts to a canopy or sidewalk shed inside, doctors, patients, visitors and guests can all pass safely through the entrance while work continues overhead. It’s business as usual, as we say in the industry.  I’ll post some pics of the all glass ceiling when I get them. scaffold rental philadelphia, scaffolding rental philadelphia, superior scaffold Chestnut Hill Hospital is a community-based teaching hospital with 164 beds offering a range of inpatient and outpatient, diagnostic and treatment services in Northwest Philadelphia. Superior is the best in the business when it comes to canopies / sidewalk sheds.  Call (215) 743-2200 for information.


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Superior Scaffolds for Jesus

America for Jesus, (One Nation Under God, Inc.) called Superior Scaffold to provide the scaffolding for their giant assembly at the Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA Friday 9.28 (7pm – midnight) and Saturday 9.29 (9am – 5pm).

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Superior was called in to provide much of the scaffolding support including 10 giant towers spread out all acrros the giant mall.  Eight of those towers are for speakers, lights and video units and 2 are for speakers and cameramen who will be videotaping the events.

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2000 pound counter weights were added the bottom of the towers to help anchor and stabilize the structures.

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The mall sits adjacent to the Liberty Bell museum and directly in front of Independence Hall (where Superior provided the scaffold for the renovation).

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The organization is a coalition of ministries who unite to organize national calls to prayer for the sake of the church and the nation.

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It’s still not clear just how many people will attend this assembly but estimates have topped at over half a million people.  We will follow up with photos after the event.

If you have scaffolding needs or questions call Jesus’ right hand scaffold man

Pat McAndrew at (215) 743-2200 for all of your scaffold needs.