A bumper crop of kindergarteners is headed for the Chilmark School in 2022, and principal Susan Stevens is looking for space to accommodate them all.

The Chilmark Preschool currently has 17 students who will be kindergarten age, Ms. Stevens told the town select board Tuesday.

“They are all up-Island kids,” Ms. Stevens said.

Traditionally, nearly all the preschoolers have gone on to the town school, Ms. Stevens said. But space at the Chilmark School is at a premium, the principal said, with nearly 60 children enrolled and one classroom already dedicated to the preschool, which also has a classroom at the Chilmark Community Center.

“That growth is changing our school,” Ms. Stevens said. The art room, for instance, is gone. “We had to put a classroom in there,” she said.

And next year will be even more crowded because graduating fifth-graders represent only a handful of students, Ms. Stevens said.

“If we take in 17 [preschoolers], we’re not going to have space for them,” she said.

It’s a positive conundrum for Alicia Knight, who served on a 2004 task force that recommended a preschool to serve families in Chilmark and Aquinnah.

“Enrollment was low and there was surplus space at the school,” Ms. Knight recalled. “I’m incredibly pleased and excited to be here tonight with . . . this dilemma, proving that our goal has been met,” she said.

Chilmark preschool director Anya May said the town needs more facilities for small children; she asked the board to consider a partnership to expand the preschool.

“I’ve seen a tremendous increase of need for child care and early education places . . . and a little bit of desperation in families,” Ms. May said. “We’re hoping to form a provisional building committee,” she said.

Increased public support for early childhood education presents more funding opportunities than in the past, Ms. May told the board. “We have access to quite a lot of funding potential that we wouldn’t have had two to three years ago,” she said.

Ms. Stevens asked if the town would provide land behind the Chilmark School for a preschool expansion.

Select board member Warren Doty said he was happy about the enrollment numbers.

“This is a problem that I’ve dreamed of,” Mr. Doty said. “I have been told over and over again that we’re an old community, that we’re all retired.”

But board member Bill Rossi said more information would be needed before an expansion project could be considered.

“I would like to see a feasibility study,” Mr. Rossi said. “Is this a pandemic effect, the need for child care? I think it is to some degree because it’s grown so quickly.

“I’m happy the school is filling up . . . but I want more information as to what the need is and whether we want to get involved as a town.”

Mr. Doty agreed that extensive groundwork would be needed. For one thing, he said, there is no possibility of expanding the town school campus.

“We’ve worked on this with our neighbor,” he said. “They love their land and they want to keep their land. Whatever the boundary is today, that’s it . . . Is a temporary classroom trailer an option?”

Ms. Stevens said all options are worth exploring, and noted that enrollment projections put as many as 90 children on the Chilmark campus within 10 years.

Select board chairman James Malkin asked Ms. May and Mr. Rossi to meet to discuss the expansion concept in more detail before reporting back to the board.

In other business, the board set Nov. 6 as the date of a special town meeting, which will be held outdoors under a tent, not inside the Chilmark Community Center.

Corrected from an earlier version which stated that Alicia Knight is a member of the school committee; she is not.