Forging a new future for the Tisbury School building was the subject of a working session Monday night at the Tisbury senior center.

With last spring’s failed school project now well behind them, school leaders, selectmen and the town facilities manager sat down to begin to sketch out a game plan.

A public opinion survey, a review of existing designs and studies and a new warrant article or articles for an upcoming town meeting are all on the table for discussion.

“I think it should be a co-sponsored article to show the town that we’re working together,” selectman Jimmy Rogers said.

“That would be awesome,” said school committee member Colleen McAndrews.

All who attended the meeting reviewed the school’s educational plan beforehand. The plan, written by principal John Custer and school staff, was originally drafted as part of the school’s unsuccessful process with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Selectmen asked whether there were areas in the educational plan that could be cut to save space and costs in a newly drawn plan.

“The bottom line for me is I’d like to develop a plan that we can present to the town that will garner 60 per cent support or more,” said selectman Melinda Loberg. “We don’t know for sure what project [the town] will support . . . The other thing that I don’t know . . is what is the core plan and what are things we have always said we want to have for our town or our students, but are not required.”

“Art, music, foreign language: not required. They’re wants,” Mr. Custer said. But he also said later: “I think those are the programs that make strong schools. If you look across the commonwealth and across the nation, schools that have these programs are stronger. Communities are proud of these schools.”

Nevertheless Mr. Custer and the school committee agreed to review the educational plan again to look for areas to trim.

Selectmen voiced support for a renovation/addition rather than a new building. Superintendent of schools Dr. Matthew D’Andrea said the town had already paid for a renovation design as part of the MSBA process.

“We have paid [the designers] a significant amount of money to put in front of us designs. They put a renovation/addition model ... that we ultimately did not select, but that we can go back to,” Mr. D’Andrea said. “I think that the money that was invested in that should be honored and respected, and we should take that design they put together for us, and we can revise it. We don’t have to play within the MSBA guidelines now.”

Mr. D’Andrea suggested hiring a designer to revise existing plans to fit within town constraints. Town administrator Jay Grande said there is some $70,000 left over from the MSBA design process, although the town would need voter permission to reallocate the money.

Selectman Tristan Israel suggested the school reapply for MSBA funding while they explore other options, but school committee members and fellow selectmen were unenthusiastic, citing the lengthy process and the limited likelihood of being accepted.

“What is the likelihood that town meeting is going to give us another $800,000 to go through the same process we already went through?” Mrs. Loberg said.

“I think that going down the route of MSBA probably is a long shot,” agreed school committee chairman Amy Houghton. “I would be in favor of us making a decision to move forward expeditiously on a plan.”

Mr. D’Andrea clarified that he has no intention of pursuing a regional middle school — a topic that surfaced during debate over the recent failed project, when some advocated for a regional middle school as a more cost effective way to educate Island children.

“I anticipate that Tisbury will need, or continue to need, a K-8 school,” Mr. D’Andrea said. “Right now I don’t see [regionalization] as something there is an appetite for.”

Most agreed on the need for a solution that addresses problems all together, especially as the school facility faces serious and immediate problems. Town facilities manager Kirk Metell outlined some of the most pressing issues, including a failed building envelope needing $3.1 million in repairs, ventilation and mold issues, and a gym roof that needs replacement.

The group agreed to devise a survey to poll townspeople on what kind of school building project they would support. Mr. Grande agreed to research how much added design work could cost, in order to set warrant articles.

The group meets again on Jan. 14.