Students in Sarnano will soon have their school back: an anti-seismic, eco-sustainable building, technologically advanced, flooded with light, featuring a wide courtyard and many services – from a gym to musical and multimedia laboratories – open to the entire community. The new school will be a hotbed of the future, a concrete metaphor of life, kicking off again in one of the areas struck by the earthquake in 2016.

On Wednesday May 2nd from 3pm onwards, in the presence of Andrea Bocelli and Renzo Rosso, respectively founders of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) and the Only The Brave Foundation, the middle school “Giacomo Leopardi”, will be officially inaugurated. This achievement is the result of the commitment of the 2 philanthropic organizations that in the record time of 150 days were able to rebuild the school hit by the earthquake exactly in same area where it used to be before.

The whole town will celebrate the realization of this project which represents a challenge (and a target) and it is the proof that the Italian entrepreneurial industry is able to react with strength and cohesion to a natural disaster – through the virtuous circle of solidarity – to solve in a transparent and swift manner even the most complex situations, like in this case, where it was possible to restore a community and revive people’s hopes.

The true protagonists of the inaugural day will be the over one hundred young students of the Sarnano school. For most of the academic year they have been hosted by other buildings and from the windows of their provisional classrooms they were able to follow, step by step, the rebirth of their school.

The school complex which is about to become the second home of the next generation of the people in Sarnano, was built – with the exclusive use of suppliers from the Marches region – in compliance with the latest anti-seismic techniques, to the point that it has been classified as “strategic building”, a safe shelter in situations of natural disasters. A place of growth, of friendships, of future, the middle school of this village on the mountains is the tangible symbol of a hurt community which was able to react with dignity, courage and goodwill.

The middle school “Leopardi”, named after the Supreme Poet from Marches Giacomo Leopardi, was severely damaged by the earthquake in 2016 (the first shock in August put the school to the test, while the second one in October completely destroyed it), was completely rebuilt in 5 months thanks to the synergies between Andrea Bocelli Foundation and Only The Brave Foundation.

The Challenge – rebuilding the school in 5 months and then donate it to the village as a “turnkey” project – was won thanks to the constant and active presence on the field of the two foundations (starting from Veronica Berti and Arianna Alessi, respectively Vice-President of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and Director of The Brave Foundation), who were personally involved in all aspects of the project, taking on quite demanding responsibilities although they also had the opportunity to manage the spaces, with the approval of a particularly collaborative and involved local administration which contributed to the creation of a facility that will be open to the whole community: sports facilities, gathering areas, musical instruments. Indeed, despite being an intervention that falls within an emergency context, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Only The Brave Foundation had a real desire and aspiration to create wide-ranging empowerment contexts. The gym, as well as the library (due to the temporary closure of the public library) for instance, will be open to the community in the afternoon. The assembly hall, the music and the IT classrooms were designed and equipped so that they can be conceived as communicating environments which can be used as a recording/conference facility by the various companies operating on the territory.

Many friends, companies and organizations joined forces with ABF and Only The Brave Foundation in the Reconstruction project and will be present next to the 2 foundations on May 2nd at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Another instrumental contribution came from the SMS Solidale Campaign launched by the ABF on September 2017 during the “Andrea Bocelli Night” at the Coliseum in Rome: a positive example of how the funds raised thanks to the sensibility and generosity of the Italian donors were swiftly allocated to the implementation of the project.

The Only The Brave Foundation is the Parent company of the OTB Group which includes Diesel, a company that launched a series of initiatives to support the project, like for instance “Customized with Love” with the involvement of many important music and art world-class celebrities like Jovanotti, Saturnino, Cesare Cremonini, Courtney Love, David La Chapelle, Fabio Novembre, Jamie Campbell Bower as well as models Petra Nemcova and Coco Rocha, who personalized a piece of Diesel clothing and donated the proceeds of the sales to this project.

The school, an incubator of relationships and ideas (just like the main square of every town, and even more true for a mountain community like Sarnano), will have its own ideal Square: an internal courtyard under the open sky, around which the whole facility takes shape… A green space that interacts with the wood in the classrooms and with the loggia-style hallways.

A school full of life, knowledge, sports, beauty, in harmony with the sensibility of the entrepreneur from Veneto Renzo Rosso, owner of Diesel and full of music, in harmony with the art which transformed into a fairytale (and into a mission) Andrea Bocelli’s own life.