In 1954, Bell & Gossett opened the Little Red Schoolhouse to provide training on the proper installation, maintenance and design techniques for hydronics and HVAC systems. And 50 years later, it is still doing just that, training mechanical contractors, consulting specifying engineers, system designers and facility engineers. More than 50,000 students in the Morton Grove, Ill., facility have passed through its doors, and another 125,000 worldwide have benefited from the school's "traveling classroom" program.

Today, the schoolhouse offers seven three-day courses ranging from hydronics basics to steam system design. There are no fees for the seminars - all texts and materials are provided free to students.

A special reception was held Aug. 26, 2004, for former students, instructors and other guests.