The town in the Marches is in the spotlight as it will be the Capital of Solidarity for one day thanks to the virtuous project by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Only The Brave Foundation

On Wednesday May 2nd at 3.00 pm the first ideal bell will ring at the “G. Leopardi” middle school in Sarnano. For the one hundred students in this Marches town (still visibly scarred by the earthquake in its streets and in the hearts of its residents) it is going to be a festive day: an event that is expected to be memorable to allow them to finally move on.

The anti-seismic, eco-sustainable building, technologically advanced, featuring state of the art educational, artistic and sports facilities has been rebuilt in the record time of 150 days, thanks to the commitment of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) and the Only The Brave Foundation by Renzo Rosso.

The two Founders – the famous Tenor and the philanthropist Entrepreneur – will attend the Inauguration Ceremony; other important celebrities from the showbiz and the charity world are expected to be present. Thanks to a SMS fundraising campaign launched last Fall at the “Celebrity Fight Night in Italy” marathon, many celebrities (from the Italian singer Renato Zero to the Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Sarah Ferguson, just to name a few) gave their contribution, as they took this small medieval village at heart and decided to support the ambitious pilot project, now completed, despite logistic and weather difficulties.

The event will take place in the front courtyard of the school, at the presence of the children, their families, the entire community, as well as the workers, the donors and the partners who contributed to the realization of the project. After the Welcome speech by Mayor Franco Ceregioli and Special Commissioner for the Reconstruction Paola De Micheli, Renzo Rosso and Andrea Bocelli will address the public. Maestro Bocelli -together with the local music band and the students – will sing the Italian National Anthem to celebrate the ribbon cutting.

Several institutions contributed to the project and will attend the Inauguration Ceremony on May 2nd, donating materials and equipment. The Assembly hall has been realized thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Mediolanum Onlus; the library thanks to the Osservatorio Giovani Editori; the science lab thanks to the Associazione Nazionale Seniores Enel; the music classroom thanks to the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers). Amongst the other contributors that will be present, ABB, Ass. Naz. Seniores, Anthony Scaramucci, Artigiana Elettrika Srl, Brian Gold and Family, Carlo Clavarino, City Council of Forte Dei Marmi, CONI, DeAgostini, Denis Vigo, Diesel, ENEL, EKO Music Group, the Donato Ammaturo Family, the Luciani Family, Fbt Elettronica SpA, Fondazione Marche, Fondazione Villa Bertelli, Gabriele e Arianna Andreucci, Giunti Editore, Gruppo Giardini Pistoia, Guardia di Finanza- Florence Unit, iGuzzini, Keep Memory Alive Foundation, Know How Solidale Org, LE Club SRL – Piacenza, Massimo Rebecchi, Metano Jesi Srl, Mondadori, Patrizia and Roberto Moroso, Perini Navi – Viareggio, Petra Nemcova, Rainbow SpA, Roberto Tordelli, Schnell SpA, Subissati, Vesmaco, Videoworks Spa.

The two Foundations dealt directly with all aspects related to the reconstruction, including tenders, taking on quite demanding responsibilities, although they also had more freedom to manage the spaces – with the approval of the local administration – which contributed to the creation of a facility that will be open to the whole community featuring sports facilities, gathering areas, musical instruments. This beautiful and safe architectural complex – built by suppliers from the Marches region and not only – was realized with the latest anti-seismic techniques. Despite being an intervention that fell within an emergency context, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Only The Brave Foundation – in line with their Missions – adopted a systemic approach which aims at implementing projects that can create growth opportunities for single individuals as well as for the whole community.

The project started at the beginning of last year. On June 27th 2017 a reconstruction agreement was signed with the City Council of Sarnano. In August the old school, which had been severely damaged by the earthquake, was demolished. Between November and December the foundations of the building were laid down, with falsework and casting. In January with the construction of the first walls, the building started taking shape. In March internal installations, fixtures and fittings were completed. From April 1st finishing touches were made and furnishings fitted.

The new School of Sarnano has six classrooms, three laboratories, an assembly hall, a library and a teachers’ room, for a total area of almost 1000 square meters. At the center of the building we find a courtyard surrounded by large windows. The volume of the classrooms is intentionally exposed towards the outdoor area, while the indoor area is completely open space with windows facing the garden where at the center a big tree has been planted, around which people gather, symbolizing the Community rebirth.

The colonnades the surround the garden confer a sense of security and belonging. These are not mere corridors but rather wide spaces, designed to become sharing areas, to be used for informal lessons or working groups, to read books from the library or simply to socialize.

The building has been entirely built with prefabricated wooden elements. The “Platform Frame” technology applied during the construction, guarantees the highest grade of resistance to earthquake shocks and certifies the building as a Class IV facility, i.e. the rating applied to important public o strategic buildings during natural disasters”.

The wooden building – with underfloor heating, a photovoltaic and thermal solar system and air treatment units with heat recovery systems and air-to-air heat pumps – guarantees the highest comfort and energy saving standards.

The square at the entrance is completely tiled with concrete blocks, it is surrounded by seating space, stand seats and a low wall made of exposed brickwork. This is to all intents and purposes a public area, available to the whole town to host events, exhibitions, or to serve as an outdoor theater or cinema.

The Assembly hall, featuring a multimedia maxi screen and fifty seats arranged in a semicircle, was designed as a place of gathering and exchange for students and teachers, although it may also be used for family and community activities.

The science lab is equipped with microscopes, swilling tanks, biology and chemistry introduction kits: a proper laboratory for students to experiment, learn and investigate.

The music room, apart from its educational purposes, will serve as a mini recording studio open to local musicians. Equipped with a state-of-the-art audio equipment which can be connected to a recording system, this music room was donated with musical instruments and it is at the community’s disposal.

The gym boasts big windows facing the entrance square, through which you can see from the height, the long pitch. The roof is entirely covered in solar panels, providing all the necessary energy to all the school installations and systems. The gym can also be accessed externally, so the spaces and the changing rooms can be used for afternoon activities which are not related to the normal school activities.

Andrea Bocelli, Founder of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation

“By joining forces, creating energies and synergies, virtuous circles are triggered and that is when things do happen! I really hope with all my heart that this project carried out by my friend Renzo Rosso and my Foundation can become an example of virtuous circle to follow in the future. This is our modest contribution, which I trust will help to demonstrate 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 way even the most complex situations”.

Veronica Berti, Vice-President of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation

“The Opening day will be an opportunity to share the joy for a kept promise with the entire town of Sarnano… And even more important because this promise was made to the children of Sarnano. We took a commitment towards them: for us it was important to prove them that we deserved their trust, that we were up to their expectations. This is another reason why we became so involved in the project. Up until a few weeks ago, the sudden reversal of a very harsh winter put at test all those people working on the construction site. Andrea’s and my first concern when we where on the other side of the world was that of checking via our webcam pointed at the school, to which extent the weather conditions were prohibitive. Thanks to everybody’s commitment, from now on the school-bell will mark the rhythm of the school days, as well as the future for these children of ours”.

Renzo Rosso, Founder of the Only The Brave Foundation

 “I have based my way of helping others on concreteness and transparency. I am extremely proud that thanks to the close cooperation between our two Foundations, we have been able to build the middle school with no wastes and within a very short time frame. Schooling age represents a pivotal moment in one’s life, and I believe that we have provided these boys and girls with an environment and educational tools of high quality which will positively contribute to their education and open-mindedness. I decided to personally take care of the aesthetic aspect of the project because beauty is also a value and a culture that must be thought as it will create, in its turn, more beauty”.

Arianna Alessi, Vice-President of the Only The Brave Foundation

“We decided to intervene in the areas hit by earthquake immediately after the tragic event. As we realized that we had to act as a matter of urgency to help these children, we did our utmost to quickly kick off this project. We were confronted with this type of challenge for the first time and not all the steps towards the final result proved easy, but we tackled them with great enthusiasm, and now that we have finally reached our goal we are extremely satisfied with our accomplishment. The joy of these children who will finally get back to normality and study in a safe and beautiful building, featuring many services, is really priceless”.