Lochinvar® Corporation, a Nashville, Tennessee-headquartered manufacturer of high efficiency water heaters, boilers, swimming pool heaters and hot water storage tanks, announced the groundbreaking of its new world headquarters that will be located at Lochinvar's 75-acre site in Lebanon, Tennessee. The new 360,000 square-foot facility will house a manufacturing plant, an engineering development lab, administrative offices, a state-of-the-art training facility, and a distribution center. Currently, Lochinvar operates out of five separate offices in six facilities throughout middle Tennessee. The new facility will consolidate all of the existing operations into a single, state-of-the-art building. Lochinvar is one of the oldest privately held corporations in middle Tennessee with roots in the water heater business dating back to 1919. Walter Vallett, Sr. started the company in the early 1900s in Detroit, Michigan. Under the direction of Bill Vallett, Sr., the company headquarters were moved to Nashville in 1972, after the acquisition of the Wagoner Water Heater Company. Today, Lochinvar is owned and operated by the third generation of the Vallett family, with Bill Vallett, Jr. as president, Jeff Vallett as senior vice president of sales and marketing, and Tom Vallett as senior vice president of operations. “Lochinvar has averaged a 15 percent growth rate per year for each of the last 15 years. This growth created the need for eight building expansions since opening our current facility in 1980,” said Bill Vallett. “Combining our six facilities under one roof will give us the opportunity to improve our communication and logistical efficiencies and give us the space to continue our rate of growth.” The new facility will include an 80-seat amphitheater-style training center with the latest in audio visual technologies, and a dedicated hands on training lab for service and application training of sales personnel, engineers, and plumbing and heating contractors. "One of our business foundations is research and development of leading edge technologies in water heating," said Jeff Vallett. "With the high degree of technology comes the obligation to train the industry on the installation, service and maintenance of these new products." In addition to Lochinvar’s distribution centers in Detroit, Mich., Dallas, Texas, Tampa, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., and Banbury England in the UK, 75,000 square feet of the new facility will serve as the distribution center for the Southeast. Occupancy in the new facility is expected in the spring of 2001. Included in this project will be a 15,000 square-foot expansion of the storage tank manufacturing facility that was built on the Lebanon site in January 1998.