PITTSBURG -- Students probably didn't give them a second look when they attended the old Pittsburg High School before it was torn down after the shiny new Pittsburg High opened in 2010.
Now, those dusty old red bricks left behind have found new life. They are being sold to provide former students with a tangible memory of the place, while making a contribution to the Eddie Hart All in One Foundation.
The nonprofit, which provides athletic, educational and social activities for local youth, was founded in 2003 by Hart, the city's Olympic gold medallist.
"It's a little piece of history, and at the same time it allows people to be a participant in the fund raising as well," said Hart, 63, who was on the track team that prevailed in the 4x100 relay race at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
The bricks are being sold for $100 each and are encased in a professional display case with a plaque that shows the school's seal and reads "Pittsburg High School Artifact" and "Home of the Orange and Black Pittsburg Pirates." A personalized phrase can be added for an additional $25.
After hearing of other schools and ball parks selling commemorative artifacts left behind from demolished structures, Hart figured there could be a market for the old bricks of Pittsburg High.
But first he had to obtain permission from the Pittsburg Unified School District. Once he got approval from the school board, he took away about 250 of the bricks knocked down by the wrecking ball.
Several bricks have been sold in the past month since the fundraising effort began.
Vince Ferrante, who graduated from Pittsburg High in 1983 and is now a district trustee, purchased a brick that now sits in his home office.
"There are several reasons to own a piece of history, of Pittsburg schools in general. There is a lot of history, pride and tradition," said Ferrante, whose mother, brothers, sisters, uncles and cousins also attended Pittsburg High. "The other is to support a nonprofit that's done a lot of good for the kids in the community.
Bricks can be purchased at www.eddiehartaiof.org or by calling 925-518-9983.
Reach Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.