Chilmark voters swiftly approved the only article on a special town meeting warrant Monday, allowing the nonprofit Chilmark preschool to take its next step toward constructing a new school on town-owned land.

Town voters had already approved the construction of a new preschool at the annual town meeting in April 2023, without specifying where it would be built. 

At the meeting this week, voters approved leasing a 4,500-square-foot plot of land behind the existing town elementary school for the construction project. The lease could be up to 30 years.

“It’s going to be a challenging build…but it seemed like the most respectful place for the campus of the school,” said preschool board member Debbi Zetterberg, who presented the project. 

Since it was founded in 2005, the preschool has used excess space at the town elementary school for its classes, Ms. Zetterberg said, but enrollment there has nearly doubled since 2008, leading to a space crunch.

Costs to construct the building will come from fundraising efforts from the nonprofit preschool organization without any cost to the town, she said, and the group plans to donate the building to the town upon completion. 

Ms. Zetterberg also motioned to amend the warrant article from its original proposal of 3,000 square feet to 4,500 square feet, in order to fulfill permitting requirements for project outbuildings. 

The amended article passed unanimously with a quorum of 111 town voters.

The town select board will be required to vote on the preschool’s proposal before the lease is awarded.

The building is planned to be complete by September 2025.