Taco dedicated its new Innovation and Development Center on Aug. 1, 2012, one year and two months after it broke ground on the major building project designed to secure its future in Rhode Island and enhance its competitiveness. President and CEO John Hazen White Jr. was joined at the morning event by about 150 industry guests including manufacturers reps, trade media and contractors.
The Center consists of a two-story 24,037-sq.-ft. addition to the current building and represents the centerpiece of the company’s master infrastructure plan. The facility is 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.
Other displays throughout the Center include HVAC equipment and systems that offer comfort, efficiency and sustainability. The products and systems are visible throughout the facility, forming “living laboratories” that allow for close-up viewing, hands-on learning and teaching. The LEED Gold project, along with office area renovations now underway within the existing building, will provide the space the company needs to grow and to stay competitive while remaining in Rhode Island, where the company has been operating since 1942.
“The new Taco Innovation and Development Center is a wonderful showcase for our industry, where members of our professional community will learn about the latest technology and applications our industry has to offer,” said White, who is the third member of his family to operate the company since 1920. “It’s also an enriching environment where Taco employees will continue to increase their knowledge and enhance their personal and professional lives through training and education classes and programs. With the building now operational we look forward to begin sharing this amazing facility.”
The total project, which extends through five phases of design and construction, has employed 36 subcontracting companies and provided almost 200 jobs for the local economy. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.