Chilmark selectmen looked to next steps on the town fire station and EMS construction project Tuesday, reviewing architectural plans, added costs and project timelines.

Selectmen also voted to extend the project architect’s contract for an additional $150,000.

The project cleared final approvals from voters at the annual town meeting and election last week.

On Tuesday, joined by Amanda Sawyer and Joe Sullivan from architectural engineering company CHA, selectmen reviewed project plans for the upcoming months, which include site reviews, bid document preparation and a permitting process.

The project is on track for a bidding process to begin this fall, with plans to break ground on the facilities before the end of the calendar year, pending approval of all permits, Ms. Sawyer said. Architects, engineers and town agents plan to meet regularly about the project’s progress, she said.

Selectmen urged architects and engineers to move swiftly. “To use a phrase from federal government, I’d love this to move along at warp speed,” selectman Warren Doty said. “We need to get this permitting moved along.”

Moving to expenses, selectmen voted to amend the architect’s contract to include bid documents and construction design, adding $150,000 to total project costs. Bonding plans to pay for the project’s expenses are not yet finalized, selectmen said.

In final discussion, selectmen voted to advertise to the public the structure currently located at the project site at 399 Middle Road. The building will be made available with the stipulation that any interested party remove the building from the premises at their own expense. Selectmen want the building removed by late summer.

In other business, Chilmark preschool director Anja May and Chilmark School principal Susan Stevens voiced concerns over space sharing at the Chilmark Community Center, as the pre-K and elementary school programs grow.

According to Ms. May the preschool will have 17 students in the fall, while Ms. Stevens said enrollment at the Chilmark School will reach 64, both record-high enrollments for the small up-Island schools.

The preschool has been operating out of the Community Center this school year due to pandemic spacing requirements. But Ms. Stevens and Ms. May agreed that the space sharing system at the Community Center has posed problems, with conflicting schedules creating issues for both programs.

As both programs prepare for unusually large classes this fall, both school leaders described the need for additional space.

“We’ve expanded . . . and we’re asking for help from the town to find a second space to fit the other children,” Ms. May said.

But selectmen said that though the Community Center space will be available to the preschool as the pandemic continues, the arrangement is not long-term.

“I don’t want to see a permanent preschool at the Community Center after this year,” selectman Bill Rossi said. “We’ve made a commitment to this year and we all want to support early childhood education. We also don’t want to lose our Community Center.”

After some discussion, school leaders and selectmen agreed to move forward flexibly, allowing the Chilmark School to hold gym and music in the Community Center. All parties also agreed to look to larger scale solutions in the future.

“If we see any inkling of this trend continuing. I think absolutely, as the community we have to think about a new solution to fit the little ones,” Ms. May said.

Also Tuesday, selectmen approved a conservation restriction for Bliss Pond Farm and made plans for an in-person meeting of the select board on June 24, the first since the pandemic began. The meeting is open to any who wish to attend and will also be streamed via Zoom.

The board also reorganized, with selectman Jim Malkin becoming chairman, Warren Doty vice chairman and Mr. Rossi clerk.