The City Council has directed the city manager and the finance director to see if the city can afford the payment schedule that the Torrance Unified School District has requested for the former Greenwood School.
Last week, the city and the school district agreed on a price of $1.9 million for the 3.4-acre site, but disagreed on how the amount should be paid.
The city wanted to make a down payment of $475,000 and to pay the balance plus 8% interest in three annual payments of $551,000, for a total of $2.128 million.
But the board countered that the only acceptable schedule was a $1.6-million down payment and the $300,000 balance paid over three years at 8% interest, for a total of $1.948 million.
At the time, Mayor Jim Armstrong said that schedule was the most difficult for the city to meet. At Tuesday's council meeting Armstrong repeated that concerns, but said the city would continue to pursue purchasing the site for a much-needed park.
"The offer needs some examination on our part," he said. "It has never been the feeling of the council that the district needs are not genuine. But the city has obligations, too. We do not have unlimited funds."
The district has said it needs the $1.6-million down payment to earn interest that could be used for classroom programs.
Armstrong said the city staff is to report back to the council in two weeks on its findings. If the staff determines that the city cannot afford the down payment, it will recommend the city's best offer. He said he expects the matter to be resolved one way or the other by the end of the month.