The Yard has begun an $11 million master plan to renovate and expand its facility off Middle Road in Chilmark. All told, the project would double building space from 7,000 to 14,000 square feet.

At a public hearing before the Martha’s Vineyard Commission Thursday, Yard staff and designers from Handel Architects laid out the broad plan to overhaul the current campus with winterized buildings, increased parking and new employee housing.

A large contingent from the Island community was on hand to express excitement and support for the organization.

The commission is reviewing the project as a development of regional impact (DRI).

Current buildings would be replaced with a five-bedroom winterized residence, and larger rehearsal and performance space. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Blake Middleton, lead architect on the project, described a vision to expand the campus while maintaining the Yard’s character.

“Our goal from an architectural point of view was to try to preserve as best possible the kind of ad hoc and naturalistic setting of the Yard while still accommodating an enlargement of the existing theatre to meet contemporary production needs,” he said.

The new campus would include a double-gabled, 7,000-square-foot performance barn that Mr. Middleton compared to the equine barns around the Island. It would expand the current performance space by approximately 4,000 square feet and increase seating capacity from 100 to 120 people.

The master plan also detailed blueprints for a new rehearsal studio and a five-bedroom employee residence building at the rear of the campus. Plans call for demolishing both the old performance space and a small building used to house summer staff and performers. The two new buildings would have metal roofs with wood sidings and trim.

Mr. Middleton said the rehearsal studio will include photovoltaic solar panels and all buildings will run on electricity.

Project engineer Reid Silva said the plan has cleared the Chilmark board of health and will still need approvals from the zoning board of appeals.

The timeline for the project remains unclear. Although the Yard has begun a capital fundraising campaign, artistic director David White said the goal of breaking ground by September 2019 seemed unlikely.

Long a summer destination, the organization is now a winter standout - but not at its Chilmark facility which is only seasonal. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“I’m an optimist fatalist,” he said.

Members of the public crowded the commission meeting room to voice support for the project. Teachers and administrators from the Charter School and the Aquinnah Cultural Center talked about the Yard’s ceaseless commitment to the arts and education, while neighbors spoke about their generally harmonious relationship with the dance studio.

Carole Vandal, a former teacher and Aquinnah resident, said she fully supported the project.

“I grew up here and moved away for 30 years, and have come home,” Ms. Vandal said. “Programs like the Yard are what I’m happy to be home about . . . I’m just here to say that I support this and I like hearing the whole layout as a biologist.”

Bill Smith, an abuter to the south, said he fully supports the Yard and the project but wanted planners to address aggressive water runoff that inundates his property during storms.

“I’m all for the Yard. I’m a performer myself,” Mr. Smith said. “But you’ve got some serious slowing down to do with water...I don’t want Lake Smith when there’s a northeaster.”

Mr. Silva said the Yard was aware of the issues and said the campus redevelopment plan wouldn’t solve the problem, but would mitigate it.

“Short synopsis is putting all water in sub-surface retention basins which will then overflow to two different bioswales,” Mr. Silva said. “We cannot solve the water issue, but we can improve it.”

Commissioners asked designers to explore options to increase the use of solar energy and composting toilets. The public hearing was closed; the written record will stay open until March 15. A post-public hearing review begins March 25.