Less than a year after the fires, CMPC and Desafío Levantemos Chile start reconstruction on a rural school in Nacimiento

The goal is for the new facilities of this school campus in Nacimiento in the Biobío Region of Chile to be fully operational in March 2024 and welcome in students at the official start of the school year after having been destroyed in the rural fires of February 2023.

San Ramón is a rural part of the Nacimiento district in the Biobío Region of Chile that was hit by the fires, just like the rest of the municipal district. The school that had been educating generations of residents since 1966, including Mayor Carlos Toloza himself, was reduced to rubble. After the emergency ended, students had to adapt to a small place where classes were being held temporarily while waiting for a more permanent solution, which ultimately came from CMPC, Desafío Levantemos Chile [the Support Chile Challenge] and the municipality.

Just nine months after the tragedy, work began on a new building to replace the one that was burned down. “We’re celebrating the milestone of laying the first brick. Thanks to a partnership between CMPC, Desafío Levantemos Chile and the municipality, the San Ramón de Nacimiento school will be rebuilt exactly where it used to stand. This is part of the CMPC Reconstruye-Restaura [Rebuild-Restore] plan that has been responsible for carrying out many public works in the area after the fires, including providing infrastructure to the community such as churches, schools, and other actions,” said CMPC Northern Regional Relations Deputy Manager Carlos Rodríguez.

For his part, Desafío Levantemos Chile Executive Director Ignacio Serrano said, “Rebuilding the San Ramón School is a symbol of a new opportunity for local students and teachers. Reducing the gaps in education and carrying Chile forward is everyone’s task. Thanks to the collaboration with CMPC, we are bringing forward a definitive and quality solution with this important project.”

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by former students and Nacimiento Mayor Carlos Toloza, who said, “I’d like to offer my gratitude for the commitment that the private company has made to our district to not only be able to build this school, but also to support many entrepreneurs, churches and others that are already functioning a mere nine months later. In March, God willing, we are going to inaugurate the school year here again and bring smiles to the children’s faces. What we want is for them to be happy.”

The supervising professor at the San Ramón school, Francisco Vera, was also present and gave thanks for the quick turnaround. “They’ve worked with us from day one ever since the school burned down. My colleagues and I were here carting away rubble, and they showed up that very same day and made a commitment in front of all of us and the mayor to rebuild this school. It’s a dream come true. We were lucky enough for the company to come help us out, and these are the results.”

According to projections by local authorities, a total of 15 students from the rural area are expected to come in the future, and they will make use this modern building to educate the children from the area.

The New School

The establishment was designed to be a quality structure for long-term use of approximately 150 square meters in size. It will feature a SIP panel structure, which allows for faster construction, and it’s also a very energy-efficient material. All interior walls will be clad with wood and the exterior with siding.

The construction will also have a central multipurpose space that can be used as a dining room and recreation zone that can also be used in both winter and summer. The design of the project takes advantage of natural lighting in each space, which will enhance the noble materials like wood that were used in its construction.