A draft lease for a school in the planned downtown library would allow San Diego Unified to pay off $20 million to the city over time, instead of ponying up the whole sum up front.

Getting to pay off the $20 million bit-by-bit could free up some money for needed repairs, which have been delayed because of lower-than-expected revenues for school renovation. Parents and educators have questioned why the schoobrary jumped to the front of the line while other projects — such as wheelchair ramps at Clairemont High — have been delayed.

Though the lease between the city of San Diego and the schools has not yet been made public, school district officials explained the changes Friday to some members of a committee that helps oversee the $2.1 billion school construction bond that will be used to pay for the lease costs, said John Gordon, who chairs one of its subcommittees.

I haven’t been able to reach the school district yet to talk about how the change will impact the schedule for school construction and renovation projects, but getting to pay off the money gradually will likely relieve some delays. Check back for more on the schoobrary soon.

— EMILY ALPERT

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