About the Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS)
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The Port Costa Conservation Society was Founded June 15, 1979
The Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS) is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. All project oversight, maintenance, fund raisers, publicity, grant proposals, financial reports and tax filings are done by volunteers.
The PCCS was formed in 1978 and founded in 1979 by local residents to provide stewardship of a scenic 83-acre parcel of land on the Carquinez Strait donated by Time Oil Co. of Martinez. This land is now maintained by the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRDP) as part of the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline Park, 1,415 acres of bluffs and waterfront featuring calendar-picture views, wooded trails and abundant wildlife.
The PCCS was allowed to purchase the Port Costa School building from the local school district through special legislation in 1988 for the original cost of construction. It is the only public building in this isolated town of ~200 residents and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Our purpose is to restore the building for its historical significance and value as a public benefit to the community at large and for recreational, community and civic uses. Our goal is to make the Port Costa School building available as a town resource for the area for years to come.
Most work on the building has been accomplished with grants, requiring matching funds of up to 25% from the PCCS. We have also completed a few large projects without grant funds, the largest of which was the roof replacement completed in 2000.
The PCCS has taken on a major project, the restoration of the historic Port Costa School. The 1911 Classic Revival two-story building was on the brink of collapse when the PCCS purchased it in 1988. With no maintenance since the school was closed in 1966, ceiling joists had cracked under the weight of rainwater pooling on the roof, plaster fell in great sodden chunks from the ceiling, wooden floors buckled, and lack of proper drainage undermined the foundation.
Since that low point, a new roof has been installed, all broken ceiling joists have been replaced, the building’s sagging back wall has been straightened, new steel beams and concrete reinforce the four corners of the building, A.D.A. restrooms and a handicap lift have been installed, more than 50 broken and boarded-up windows have been replaced, new doors are in place, rusted sections of the metal fascia have been repaired, and new primer and a fresh coat of paint have been applied to the exterior.
Based on the structural plans we have available, we have had a conceptual master budget compiled for us (pro bono) by R.G.M. and Associates, a local commercial Construction Management firm. It will take approximately $1,700,000 to finish everything we want to do. By necessity we will be continuing our restoration efforts in phases. Completion of the restoration work will allow us to expand overall use of the facility.
Over time, thousands of people will benefit from the restoration of the Port Costa School. The playground is used seven days a week by children in town and the surrounding area. Our yearly fundraisers attract between 500 and 1,000 visitors. It is important to note that the Port Costa School is being used regularly – monthly PCCS and local public agency meetings, the annual Port Costa Christmas Party, corporate seminars, wedding receptions, memorial services, family reunions and bus trips by the California Pioneers, an organization of history-minded seniors in Santa Clara County.
The building has been used by the County Public Works Dept., The Crockett Community Foundation, ABAG’s San Francisco Bay Trail Board of Directors and the John Swett Education Foundation. It is available to local agencies, such as the Sanitary District, and non-profit organizations that benefit Port Costa.