About a dozen people attended a Steamship Authority open house held in Vineyard Haven Wednesday to share plans for a sweeping redesign of the Woods Hole ferry terminal. The group of mostly older adults included year-round and seasonal Islanders and three Woods Hole residents, who bicycled to the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse after taking the ferry to Oak Bluffs.

“Five or six years ago, we recognized we needed to do something with the Woods Hole terminal,” SSA general manager Robert Davis told Islander Molly Cabral, who was first to arrive. “The slips were becoming obsolete and they needed more repair than the patching we were doing,” while the six-decade-old terminal building “needed to go away.”

Following a Tuesday night presentation in Woods Hole, in which many village residents assailed the plan, the Vineyard open house was an informal affair in the playhouse lobby. Four easels held architectural renderings and site plans for the reconfiguration, which is expected to take at least five years and more than $60 million to accomplish.

Boat line officials, including operations director Mark Rozum, communications director Sean Driscoll and Bill Cloutier, project manager for the redesign, greeted visitors and took them through the drawings in small groups. Project architects Chris Iwerks and Lian Davis were also on hand to answer questions. A projector screen displayed images of other prominent Woods Hole buildings with a variety of styles and sidings.

Bill Cloutier shows Anna Edey and Thomas Hodgson a detail of the plan. — Louisa Hufstader

Director of security Larry Ferreira — whose position is mandated by the Coast Guard, he said — quietly observed the proceedings from various spots around the lobby. Whether or not his presence there was also mandated by the Coast Guard, a smiling Mr. Ferreira said federal law prevents him from discussing any details of his work.

Ms. Cabral, who summered in Woods Hole for many years before moving to the Vineyard, said she is upset by the 35-foot height of the new two-story terminal, which must be built above flood plain level. It will block the view of the Woods Hole passage from the Crane Street bridge, a heart-lifting sight for almost anyone coming into the village, she said.

“You see the Hole, you see Penzance Point, you see Nonamessett. It’s a view like none other,” Ms. Cabral said. “The idea that view could be obiterated is crushing. It’s heartbreaking.”

Mr. Davis replied that while the water view from the bridge will be affected, the redesign opens other vistas. “It’s not going to block the entire harbor,” he said. The passage will still be visible from other angles, he added.

“We’ll actually be improving some of the other vantage points,” he said. “It’s going to be opening up the north side of Great Harbor for views.”

At least 26 locations for the building were studied before the final spot was chosen, officials said. Mr. Iwerks had the study plans with him in a spiral-bound report that if animated, would have shown the purple rectangle representing the structure moving from place to place and changing orientation around the waterfront property.

“There are so many objectives that it’s really not possible for one solution to meet all the objectives — not that we didn’t try,” Mr. Iwerks said. “We always try.”

Islander Anna Edey, a longtime advocate for sustainable design, was more concerned with the design of the terminal itself than with its location. The expanses of glass in the waiting room are “an invitation to difficulty” when it comes to energy use, she said.

“The business community wanted an open atmosphere,” said Mr. Cloutier, referring to a working group of Woods Hole business people who conferred with the architects on the building design.

“Is there any solar planned at all?” Ms. Edey pressed.

SSA general manager Robert Davis discusses plans with Islander Molly Cabral. — Louisa Hufstader

“The community nixed it,” Mr. Cloutier said. “They didn’t want the look of solar panels.”

“Well, the community doesn’t hang out at the boat terminal,” Ms. Edey responded.

“At last night’s meeting, you’d think they lived there,” Mr. Cloutier said wryly.

Energy use and building size both concern Rebecca Truman, one of the Woods Hole residents who attended Tuesday’s presentation there and bicycled to the one in Vineyard Haven Wednesday.

“It uses coal for electricity and it blocks the view of Woods Hole [passage] — the namesake of Woods Hole,” she said.

And she disputed the assertion that the village community had opposed solar power for the building. “That is an outright lie,” Ms. Truman said.

She had a third concern: increased capacity when the rebuilt slip 3 goes back into service. Formerly a maintenance slip, slip 3 will become as fully operational as the other two, with ferries arriving and departing throughout the day.

“They’re making it possible for tens of thousands of people to show up, which will wreck this Island,” she said.

Ms. Cabral expressed pessimism that community members will be able to sway the boat line, which is already behind schedule on the terminal reconstruction.

“The Steamship always does what it wants to do,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what Woods Hole wants. It’s a big parking lot for the Vineyard, that’s what it is.”

Parking, in fact, is one thing the redesign lacks. With buses, trucks, automobiles and walk-on passengers to accommodate, there’s no room for more than a few pick up/drop off spots at the terminal.

Islanders who were unable to attend the open house can view the plans at steamshipauthority.com/news/15-woods_hole_ferry_terminal_reconstruction_project.

Public comments can be made again on Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Steamship Authority board of governors, which begins at 4 p.m. in the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center.