It was a wet November and perhaps no one noticed it more than the staff and animals at the Farm Institute.

The larger of two barns at the teaching farm in Katama has a failed roof, and water has been leaking through.

“It leaks badly, it rattles heavily in the wind and doesn’t provide much of what a roof should provide,” said Jon Previant, executive director of the Farm Institute, a nonprofit that has leased the property from the town for 10 years.

This week selectmen awarded a contract for replacing the roof that covers the 8,400-square-foot barn.

The bid, in the amount of $72,650, came from Cape Building Systems of Mattapoisett. It was the lowest of three bids; the Aulson Company bid $87,260, and Capeway Roofing offered to do the work for $161,200.

This was the second round of bids for the roof replacement. In the first set of proposals, the bids came in over budget, which was $40,000, and the town had to go back to voters to ask for more money. Voters agreed, approving $35,000 in additional funds for the project at the annual town meeting.

Edgartown conservation agent Jane Varkonda said the new roof will be made of metal and will be installed at the old milking barn as soon as possible.

Katama Farm was one of Edgartown's earliest conservation purchases, and today is leased by the nonprofit Farm Institute. — Mark Lovewell

Mr. Previant hopes that the project will be complete in time for lambing, which starts at the end of January. The sheep typically spend that period in the cow barn.

“We are so happy because it will be safer for everybody and dry for our animals,” he said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, selectmen heard a presentation from Craig Whitaker, an architect and planner who has led an effort to preserve the rural character of Island roads.

Mr. Whitaker sits on a committee at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission which has been working to develop design standards for Island roads, possibly creating a scenic roads manual that would inform transportation projects on the Vineyard.

The committee has sought professional assistance for the initiative from planning and design firms. The consultants will be present for a meeting Thursday at the MVC to discuss the project.

The project has enthusiastic support from stakeholders, Mr. Whitaker said. Many have agreed that the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road has the least rural aesthetic of all Island roads. That road is slated to be repaved next year, and the scenic roads committee would like to take that opportunity to improve the road’s aesthetics.

Edgartown highway superintendent Stuart Fuller, who is a member of the committee, said Monday that he often feels like the lone voice advocating for the functionality of Island roads.

Selectmen voiced support for Mr. Fuller.

“We need that voice because when you get to the state level, to get funding, it’s got to be functional first,” said selectman Michael Donaroma.

The commission meeting begins at 4 p.m. in the Olde Stone Building in Oak Bluffs.