The boat-shaped Sea Scout building that sits on the edge of the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve no longer sinks into the bay. Construction workers hired by the Environmental Volunteers began restoring the building on Friday.
The construction workers hoisted the building on steel beams and moved it 200 feet over. The building will be restored on top of a new foundation 3.5 feet above the bay, devoid of floodwater.
The building, constructed in 1941 and used by the Boy Scouts of America, was abandoned 17 years ago.
The Environmental Volunteers, which offer hands-on science to over 11,000 South Bay schoolchildren, will use the recycled building as their headquarters. The EcoCenter will provide the public with wildlife viewing programs, nature photography exhibits and class field trips.
The $4 million construction project will take a year to 18 months to complete, depending on whether the endangered Clapper Rail finds a breeding partner. If the bird finds a breeding partner, construction will stop and begin six months later after the breeding season.
The Environmental Volunteers are also conscious of other endangered species in the area such as the salt marsh harvest mouse and the burrowing owls. To make sure that the native creatures are undisturbed by the construction, the volunteers planted native vegetation along the edges of the building site for the creatures to dwell.