John Hazen White Jr. (right) and Dan Holohan attend Taco’s ground breaking event for the Taco Innovation & Development Center.

CRANSTON, R.I. - Taco broke ground on a major building project. John Hazen White Jr., company president & CEO, was joined by family members, representatives from the state’s political leadership, guests, and employees of Taco for the morning event.

The centerpiece of the $18 million project will be the new Taco Innovation & Development Center, consisting of a two-story 24,037-square-foot addition to the current building, a former trolley barn built in 1904. The Innovation & Development Center will be a state-of-the-art learning and training environment, complete with new classroom spaces, conference rooms, a business center, and functional labs for testing and teaching. The center will utilize, display, and provide a hands-on learning environment for the best equipment and systems that today’s HVAC industry offers for comfort, efficiency, and sustainability. The HVAC products and systems will be visible throughout the entire facility, forming living laboratories that allow for close-up viewing, hands-on learning, and teaching.

Taco’s reception area, employee cafeteria, and office areas on two floors will undergo extensive renovation, floor to ceiling, advancing the comfort, functionality, and productivity of those areas. There will be new offices, work stations, meeting rooms, and open areas.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project, slated for completion during the fall of 2012, will provide the space the company needs to grow and to remain competitive while remaining in Rhode Island, where the company has been operating since 1942.

“Taken together, these major improvements to Taco’s physical infrastructure will provide us with a new home for the coming decades,” said White, the third-generation owner of Taco. “The new Taco Innovation & Development Center will be a showcase for our industry, where members of our professional community will learn about the latest technology and applications our industry has to offer. We look forward to the completion of this project when we can begin sharing this amazing facility with them.

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Publication date:07/18/2011