Memramcook auction

The Memramcook Institute owes its creditors $4.5 million. (Marc Genuist/CBC)

Almost everything inside the historic Memramcook Institute will be on the auction block on Friday morning in an effort to pay down some of its $4.5-million debt.

The landmark building, which was the first Acadian university 150 years ago, declared bankruptcy last year.

Simone Smith was inside the institute on Thursday and was looking at all the chairs, paintings, restaurant equipment and hotel furniture that will be sold off at Friday’s auction.

"I'm here to have one last look at our heritage being sold by auction," Smith said.

"I’m afraid, I'm really afraid because I'd hate to see it go I don't know how it's going to end," she said.

Memramcook auction

The Memramcook Institute is auctioning off many of the items inside the historic building. (Marc Genuist/CBC)

Hermance LeBlanc, a former mayor of Memramcook who worked at the institute for several years, said she will boycott the auction.

"I will not be here," she said. "I couldn't stand it, it's too close to my heart."

LeBlanc says the closure of the institute is a big loss.

"It's like a hit against the Acadian people, it's a hit against Memramcook and all of our heritage. This was the first French college and a lot of our leaders graduated here."

Memramcook residents have managed to save some historic items such as a piano, tools, and candle sticks.

The rest, will be sold off to pay the debt.

The provincial government has stepped in to help save the Acadian landmark, which is located about 20 minutes from Moncton.