GALLUP, N.M. — The Diocese of Gallup has announced it will sell the property of the historic Sacred Heart School to a secular charter school.

The Gallup Independent reports word of the pending sale recently stunned school officials and parents amid concerns about a conflict of interest.

Sacred Heart School interim principal Amy Jo Mulvaney says she was caught off guard when Aequitas Education and Hozho Academy representatives toured the school late January.

Mulvaney said the Aequitas and Hozho group arrived as classes were ending and parents were coming to pick up their children. Mulvaney said the Rev. Isaac Ogba, the Diocese of Gallup’s school superintendent, also showed up to escort the group on their tour.

“It shook some people up because we didn’t know about it at the time,” Mulvaney said, explaining she and other members of the Sacred Heart School hadn’t been informed about the visit or the diocese’s intent to sell the school property.

The representatives said they were purchasing the campus. Gallup attorney Patrick T. Mason led the Aequitas and Hozho group. He is also the attorney for the Diocese of Gallup.

In a statement, the Diocese of Gallup said it will use the sale of the old school property to build a brand-new school building on the Sacred Heart Cathedral grounds.

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