The San Diego Unified school board agreed to lease two floors of the planned downtown library for a charter school, another key step forward for the library project. San Diego’s City Council approved the same lease last week.

Library boosters applauded the move as an innovative and collaborative step.

“I always felt as a teacher that my purpose was to teach students to become lifelong learners — and what better place to do that than the library?” said Carleen Hemric, a retired teacher and library volunteer.

The board voted 3-2 to approve the lease, with board members John de Beck and John Lee Evans opposing the move. Evans said he felt that while the schoobrary was great, it shouldn’t be a priority, especially as the school district has delayed other planned renovations and repairs at schools.

Board President Richard Barrera said he understood those worries. “But if we don’t take this opportunity now to move this project forward, we’re going to lose this opportunity,” he said.

— EMILY ALPERT

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