The regional high school district committee voted Monday night to spend $29,000 to get the ball rolling on renovations to the high school track, including more than $3,000 for consulting services from Gale Associates, the Weymouth engineering firm hired in 2016 by artificial turf proponents MV@Play.

“Gale Associates did some . . . quite thorough work on the project,” said Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd, who chairs a committee exploring the track improvements, at the meeting Monday. He said it made sense to use Gale “as a template to get started — not saying we’re going to use that, but it’s just someplace to go.”

The track is in serious need of an overhaul and was resurfaced last fall as a temporary fix. The area has been the subject of concern for several years and was at one point condemned by state authorities for being unsafe to use.

Gale previously did a preliminary design for the track and surrounding fields in 2016, including an artificial turf infield on the track. The plans were paid for by MV@Play and donated to the school. Later the turf plan was put on hold when a community group advocating for grass fields came forward and school leaders shifted their attention to a new plan. Then last year talks between the high school and the Field Fund fell apart, leaving the school committee to move forward on its own.

There remain strong opinions on both sides of the debate over the high school playing fields.

“The elephant in the room is . . . turf versus grass,” Mr. Manter said during a facilities subcommittee meeting Tuesday morning that immediately followed the Monday meeting.

As part of discussions with the Field Fund last year, the high school adopted a 10-year grass fields policy. On Tuesday, the group discussed whether it would be appropriate to overturn the policy as they consider all options.

“That is the policy adopted by the high school,” Mr. Manter said. “For us to look at an alternative, I feel uncomfortable doing that unless the high school modifies their policy.”

Committee member Amy Houghton said the policy could be reviewed down the line if necessary.

“We have the idea of bringing Gale here to ask questions, and I think that that can be informative as to whether or not we need to look at that policy,” she said.

The facilities group also decided to prioritize hiring an owner’s project manager with the remaining $26,000. An owner’s project manager serves as a guide, consultant and advocate for owners undergoing large building projects. The group decided to hire the project manager before setting a date for the visit from Gale Associates.

The committee has also discussed seeking a second opinion from another firm, Huntress Associates, though no money has been reserved yet for those services.

On Tuesday the group met with Martha’s Vineyard Commission executive director Adam Turner to discuss the review process for the track project. The MV@Play turf proposal was referred to the MVC as a development of regional impact (DRI) in 2017, but the plan was pulled when the high school began exploring the grass field option. Mr. Turner said the commission would only need to review the project if significant changes are proposed to the track, such as using artificial turf, adding additional bleachers or additional lights.

He said if the high school does want to go with artificial turf, it would likely have to bring experts before the commission during a public hearing.

“I can tell you that we are looking to have a public hearing that everybody watches and are confident and comfortable with all the testimony that’s given,” he said.

On Monday the committee also debated whether to contract with MVTV to film the facilities subcommittee meetings. School accountant Mark Friedman estimated the extra filming would cost $7,000 to $10,000, and high school principal Sara Dingledy voiced concerns that filming the meetings adds extra scheduling and location logistics. In the end the committee put off making a decision until June.

Subcommittee meetings are open to the public.

In other business Monday night, the committee also agreed to put $80,000 into a fund for the new school building committee, which is being formed to begin planning for a major update to the school.

Near the end of the meeting Mr. Manter voiced concerns about the sources of funding for the building committee and the track project. Funds will be transferred from various budget line items with excess amounts, ranging from $7.93 in the so-called Exterior Door FOB Security fund to $15,077 in a classroom tiling fund.

“That’s not sound fiscal planning,” Mr. Manter said. “It’s money over-assessed in the first place . . . for us just to pick leftover money and allocate it . . . without what I think is proper review.”

The committee had its first official reading of updated anti-bias policies and voted to adopt the special Olympics unified champion schools program, beginning with a high school basketball team for students with disabilities. A trip to Scotland was approved for the Minnesingers in 2019.