The Tisbury school building committee has ranked its top three candidate firms for the role of construction manager at risk, naming W.T. Rich of Newton as first choice and asking the select board to begin contract talks with the company.

“They have a very impressive record of school projects, and that was of particular note,” said Tisbury School principal John Custer, a member of the building committee and chairman of the subcommittee that reviewed candidate firms. A joint meeting was held with the school committee and select board Monday evening.

Island builder Andrew Flake, who also served on the selection subcommittee, said that during interviews last week, W.T. Rich representatives displayed an understanding of Tisbury’s community that put them ahead of the other firms.

“I think we all felt that it was a better cultural fit for the town of Tisbury — not just the town overall, but given the intimacy of the neighborhood around the school,” Mr. Flake said.

The select board voted unanimously to enter contract negotiations with WT Rich.

The other two firms under consideration are Commodore Builders of Waltham and joint venture of Lowell-area J&J Contractors with O&G Industries of Connecticut.

The construction manager at risk works on behalf of the town, in cooperation with the school building committee, the architects and all the subcontractors on the project, school building committee chairman Harold Chapdelaine told the Gazette in a text message after Monday’s meeting.

“On a renovation/addition this should minimize change orders and cost overruns as their eyes are on and in the project with a proactive rather [than] reactive approach,” Mr. Chapdelaine said.