With the $81 million Tisbury School project well under way, town leaders now are looking at their next building challenge: an up to date, consolidated location for municipal offices, which have overflowed town hall to the extent that some employees are working in the Katharine Cornell Theatre upstairs.

“We need to pivot and start thinking about a bridge to the future for town hall offices,” town administrator Jay Grande said at Wednesday’s select board meeting.

The town has known for decades that it needs a new facility, Mr. Grande told the board. “Since 1987, it was published in the annual report that we desperately needed a consolidated town hall,” he said.

Other key town building projects have taken precedence, most recently the school, which is slated to reopen in the fall of 2025. In the meantime, Tisbury’s town workers are divided between the cramped town hall and theatre — housed in a former church from the whaling era — and a trailer on High Point Lane.

Mr. Grande said he will seek $195,000 at the annual town meeting on April 25 to hire an architect and other professionals to begin the process of developing a new town center. Voters at previous town meetings have already approved $66,000 for town hall work, Mr. Grande said, so the April 25 warrant article will ask to repurpose those funds and raise or appropriate an additional $129,000.

“This would begin the town’s formal initiative or process regarding the future town hall offices,” he said.

The professional team would follow a similar path to the school project’s, Mr. Grande said, with space needs and feasibility studies followed by design and engineering work, cost estimating and bidding and other services that are required under state laws for municipal construction.

As with the school — though with a smaller project — a building committee appointed by the town would guide the process, he said.

To relieve the present space crunch at town hall, Mr. Grande recommended one of two options for temporarily relocating some staffers. While the EduComp building on State Road has office space on the second floor available for rent to the town on a short-term basis, Mr. Grande said he’d rather purchase a modular suite of offices to install on town-owned land for as long as they are needed.

“This would be able to address the immediate overcrowding issues and also give us the time to work through the details of the town hall project,” he told the board.

Mr. Grande said the economics favor buying rather than renting the modular units, with an estimated cost of less than $300,000, depending on hookup expenses, to purchase and install a two-unit modular suite with four offices, a small meeting room and a restroom.

“We would own it outright and whenever there’s a future town hall shovel in the ground, at the end of that construction project — say three or four years out from today — we can either repurpose [it] or dispose of it as surplus,” he said.

The pre-made units he’s proposing are far less complicated and costly than the rented modulars making up the temporary Tisbury School, Mr. Grande said.

“One of those classroom suites is a million dollars [to buy],” he said.

“It appears to me that they’re holding their value substantially,” Mr. Grande added.

One potential location for the satellite worksite, he said, would be directly across from the temporary school at 55 West William street, where contractors for the school project have set up their office trailers on part of the town-owned lot.

The select board, now back at its full strength of three members after Abbe Burt’s election on Jan. 24, took no action on the EduComp rental option, clearing the way for a town meeting warrant article for the modular units. If voters approve the request, Mr. Grande said he expects the new offices to be in place by July 1 at the latest.

“If the money comes from free cash, following the town meeting vote I can procure them immediately,” Mr. Grande told the board.

Among other business Wednesday, the select board granted wastewater supervisor Jared Meader’s request for a 120-day moratorium on processing applications for new service. More than 30,000 gallons of newly-available wastewater flow, freed up after a year of eliminating leaks and illegal hook-ups, needs to be allocated, Mr. Meader said, and his department can’t do that properly at the same time it continues to process new applications.

He’ll update the select board after the moratorium’s first 60 days, Mr. Meader said.

Also Wednesday, select board chair Roy Cutrer announced that state senator Julian Cyr this month filed an amendment to the 2003 state law that imposes an embarkation fee on all ferries to the Vineyard, seeking to raise the amount from 50 cents to $2 a trip. The embrakation fees go to the various port towns, which are required to spend the money on projects related to the local impact of boat line traffic.

The select board wound up Wednesday’s meeting by appointing deputy fire chief Patrick Rolston as Tisbury’s emergency manager, with natural resources department officer Colleen Wilson as assistant emergency manager, and confirming the conditional reappointment of former building commissioner Ross Seavey, who will work for the town on a part-time business until his position is filled.