About the Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS)
The Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS) was Founded June 15, 1979
The Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS) is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. Volunteers do all project oversight, maintenance, fundraisers, publicity, grant proposals, financial reports, and tax filings.
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, 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 significant 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. 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 the 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 for:
local public agency meetings
annual Port Costa Christmas Party
bus trips by the California Pioneers, an organization of history-minded seniors in Santa Clara County
County Public Works Department
The Crockett Community Foundation
ABAG’s San Francisco Bay Trail Board of Directors
John Swett Education Foundation
Sanitary District meetings
The schoolhouse is available to local agencies and non-profit organizations that benefit Port Costa.
The Port Costa Museum and Archive Project
For many years, community members have collected and stored Port Costa artifacts, photographs, documents and news articles in their homes. In 2019, a group of volunteers began cataloging, archiving, displaying and safely storing these collections in the Port Costa School.
Docent museum tours are available for groups and school field trips.
The tours include the history of Port Costa; stories of the people who shaped the character and landscape of our town; and a tour of the ongoing restoration of this 15,000 square foot school building. The Port Costa Museum is managed and operated by the Port Costa Conservation Society (PCCS) and is located in the historic 1911 Schoolhouse. Tax-deductible donations are accepted for these tours.
Please email Suzanne at PortCostaMuseum@gmail.com