An old firehouse came down Monday in Chilmark to make way for a new one, on the heels of Saturday’s special town meeting.

John Keen excavation began work in the morning, and fire chief Jeremy Bradshaw was on hand to record the event. — Albert O. Fischer

At the meeting Saturday, voters gave a green light to add $1.3 million to the project for a new fire station and building to house the Tri-Town ambulance.

With the project — now pegged at $12.3 million — long in the works, the Chilmark select board wasted no time in taking action.

On Monday the board awarded the construction contract for the new firehouse and ambulance facility to Delbrook of East Falmouth. Just outside the town hall, John Keene excavation tackled the work of demolishing the old fire station. Fire chief Jeremy Bradshaw stood nearby, taking video of the event with his phone.

The actual construction contract will be signed on Thursday, town administrator Timothy Carroll said, after Delbrook sorts through a slew of its own bids from subcontractors.

Two days earlier Chilmark voters agreed unanimously to add another $1.3 million to the price tag, after bids came in over budget.

Moderator Janet Weidner called the meeting to order at 1 p.m. in the Chilmark Community Center with a moment of silence for the late Everett Poole.

There was only on article on the warrant: a request for $1.2 million to be added to the $11 million project to create a public safety complex at 339 Middle Road.

Voters were shown plans for the complex, which will have a campus-style layout with paths around the two buildings.

Although the warrant article was for $1.2 million, it was amended upward to $1.3 million to allow for a contingency budget.

Special town meeting vote Saturday cleared the way for construction to begin. — Ray Ewing

The high cost of construction has contriubuted to the need for more funds than originally planned, select board member Warren Doty told voters.

“It’s not a surprise to any of us that our construction costs have gone up 10 per cent,” Mr. Doty said. He added that the construction climate has led to an environment that greatly inhibits the ability to negotiate with contractors.

The town received three bids for the project, each well above the $11 million approved at annual town meeting last year.

Mike Owen, the town’s project manager, said increased costs are across the board in the industry.

“We’re seeing this not only affect this wonderful project, but projects as a whole,” he said. “I encourage the community to really accept the proposal before you.”

Some voters raised concerns about further cost changes, noting that change orders often come when projects go to the lowest bidder.

Mr. Doty acknowledged the potential for change orders, but he said often they are the result of alterations proposed by contractors, and plans for the new buildings are already set. He said the only real unknowns could come once digging begins. “I don’t think that there are any crazy conditions in the soil . . . around either building,” Mr. Doty said.

The firehouse construction will be paid for entirely by Chilmark, while the three up-Island towns will share the cost of the ambulance facility using a previously agreed-on formula.

Zach Harris contributed reporting.