Taco Inc., manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment, systems, and accessories for hydronic-based applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings, is embarking on a major modernization and expansion of its headquarters in Cranston, R.I.

Representing the largest capital expenditure in the company's 90-year history, the project includes construction of a two-story, 24,037-sq-ft learning center, to be called the Taco Innovation & Development Center. The facility will include two 30-seat classrooms, a 63-seat tiered classroom, two 25-seat teaming spaces, a library with computer classroom and conference room, computer-training laboratories, and a computer-numerical-control training and demonstration room. Visible throughout, forming "living laboratories" for close-up viewing and hands-on learning, will be a variety of systems and equipment, including geothermal, solar, photovoltaic, snow melt, domestic-hot-water conservation, and building automation.

The project, which also includes 24,487 sq ft of interior renovation, began Jan. 31 and is expected to take about 18 months.