National training center for HVAC techs to rise on former Abbe Road Lumber site in Sheffield Lake

 

Going, going… The 70-year old buildings that housed Abbe Road Lumber on Abbe Road in Sheffield Lake are coming down to make room for Sheffield Lake-based National Comfort Institute’s $2 million training facility and headquarters. The new two-story building is slated to open late next year.

By MICHELE MURPHY

SHEFFIELD LAKE – National Comfort Institute, a Sheffield Lake-based technical training organization for heating and cooling professionals, is planning a $2 million training center and headquarters on the site of the former Abbe Road Lumber.

Crews have started to tear down wood buildings and soon construction will start on a 12,000 square foot training facility, which should be ready late next year, Chairman and CEO Dominick Guarino said. Guarino and President Rob Falke said the first floor of the two-story building will be a training center. The the company’s corporate headquarters, now located on Lake Road, will move into the second floor.

In addition, a 6,000 sq. foot existing poll barn at the southeast corner of the site also will be used for training. Another area is designated for shipping and receiving, Guarino said. He said the new building will be situated on the site to leave room for possible expansion.

In the 25 years Falke and Guarino have worked together, NCI has trained more than 25,000 HVAC professionals as well as plumbers and electricians to ensure safe, efficient and comfortable heating and cooling systems in homes and commercial buildings.

As industry acceptance grew for the standards NCI developed, and more professionals sought training, the company outgrew the training facility that is across the street from the company’s current headquarters.

Guarino calls the development a campus in line with their teaching/training mission. He said they plan to incorporate a landscaped courtyard where employees and trainees can gather for lunch or breaks. Falke said testing equipment will be placed strategically within the courtyard to allow trainees “to fiddle with instruments” outside of class time.

The building’s interior is designed to promote collaboration between trainees and trainees and staff, said Guarino.

They are exploring the possibility of adding solar panels, geothermal and wind technologies to heat and cool the building. Guarino said equipment from renewable energy sources can also be integrated into various training programs.

Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said the project will be an asset for Sheffield Lake and surrounding communities.. Bring, manager of Abbe Road Lumber when it closed 10 years ago, said replacing the outdated 70-year old building with a new national company headquarters “will be far better for the city.”

“NCI is an industry game-changer,” he said.

 

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