A space needs assessment at the West Tisbury School is on hold after the Up-Island Regional School Committee voted unanimously Monday to drop a request to fund the study.

The committee voted earlier this year to ask voters in West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah for their approval to split the $120,000 cost of the study, which would complement an already-completed assessment of the school’s energy needs. Officials previously said that the school needs a complete overhaul, from a failing roof to outdated energy systems.

Committee members reconsidered their decision on the space study last week and, at a special meeting Monday, agreed that because funding for actual construction is years away, a space needs study would be premature.

“We should wait a couple of years, and then start the process,” committee member Skipper Manter said.

“Obviously, it’s going to be done in the future,” Mr. Manter added later in the meeting. “We’re not ignoring the work.”

Committee members said they saw no other choice but to withdraw the warrant articles they had requested for the Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury annual town meetings this spring. The school district’s finances are already strained by roof work in West Tisbury and a major overhaul at the Chilmark School, while its administrative staff is also handling major projects at the Tisbury School and regional high school.

The committee also asked district finance director Mark Friedman to begin compiling data for an application to the highly selective Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) reimbursement program for the West Tisbury school.

The regional high school now is nearing its final deadline for eligibility in the program, which reimburses up to 38 per cent of construction costs and provides expertise, purchasing assistance and other advantages the school could not afford on its own.

It took seven years of trying for the high school to reach this point, Mr. Friedman told the committee Monday night.

The MSBA typically receives about 90 applications a year from schools across the state, and usually accepts only about 10 to 12 of them, he said.

That number now is dropping due to increased construction costs, Mr. Friedman said.

“They’re expecting to take fewer than 10 schools [a year], at least in the near future, because each is expected to cost more,” he said.

An energy study conducted last year found the school is leaking heat through its walls, windows, doors and foundation. Working with West Tisbury energy consultant Mark Rosenbaum, a town task force developed a proposal to make the school energy-efficient and non-polluting for an estimated cost ranging from $26 million to $37 million.

Last year’s study did not include a space needs assessment, which Mr. Friedman said is not a prerequisite for applying to the MSBA program.

“They would update [it] anyway,” he said.

Monday’s vote followed a discussion at last week’s monthly meeting of the up-Island committee, which could not act on the matter because it was not on the agenda.

There was no other business on the special meeting agenda, but Chilmark School principal Susan Stevens told the committee that an electrical pump malfunction had left the school without water that day.

With a key to the nearby Chilmark Community Center and permission to use the bathrooms at the closed Chilmark Library, Ms. Stevens said students and staff got through the day while the electrical problem was repaired and the water tested for bacteria and acidity.

“It was totally repaired by 2:30 or so,” Ms. Stevens said.