After wide-ranging discussion Tuesday, Oak Bluffs selectmen directed their town administrator to seek a new consultant to guide the board in deciding whether to renovate the current town hall or explore other options.

It was the first substantive public discussion of the next steps in the now-stalled town hall project. In November voters overwhelmingly approved adding another $1.3 million to the $9.8 million project in order to award the low bid and get construction started. But in a special election two days later, voters rejected the extra spending, leaving the long-planned project in limbo.

With most of the town hall building committee members in attendance Tuesday, selectmen began to talk about renovation over new construction.

“If you go in and gut that building, soup to nuts, and put an elevator on the end of it, what does it cost,” asked selectman Brian Packish. “I would like to see us get a new and independent set of eyes that hasn’t been down the wormhole that we’ve already been down, give us an exploration around the building that we have. We’d all love a bigger office, we’d all love more bathrooms, we’d all love a lot of things, but we don’t always get all the things we love so we have to look at what we can make do with.”

Members of the building committee said they had explored renovation and rejected it as too costly when they began the process. Considerations included the cost of replacing antiquated plumbing, wiring, heating and ventilation, and bringing the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We went through all this three years ago,” said committee member Walter Vail. “There are a number of things, and once you get in there, they’re all going to have to be fixed, by code. It doesn’t make any sense to this building committee to start all over. I think we ought to try again, we could present that same [new] building. If we get all five selectmen to buy into this, that’s what it’s going to take. If you don’t, forget it — it’s just not going to happen.”

The board also briefly discussed temporary office trailers that are sitting unused across the street from the current town hall. The trailers were meant to house town employees during construction of a new town hall. The trailers will cost the town $8,200 per month for the remainder of the contract, which runs about 10 months. Town administrator Bob Whritenour said after talks with the contractor, it will cost about the same to demobilize the temporary office space now, as it would to simply pay the rest of the contract.

After a break from their regular schedule for the holidays, selectmen meet next on Jan. 8.