A retired architect in Sackville is worried that a multi-million dollar centre for theatre and fine arts slated for Mount Allison University will mean the demolition of one of the university's most historic buildings.

Bob Eaton said the building, formerly a library dedicated to alumni who lost their lives in the First World War, is the heart of the campus.

The red sandstone building was built in 1927 by prominent Maritime architect Andrew Cobb.

Although it hasn't been home to library books since the 1970s, the library was revamped as the student centre and became a campus hub - housing the student union, campus radio station, and the campus pub.

Now the unused building's stone entrance is covered over with vines.

"I think this is a very special piece that tells a story that, if lost, is gone for good," Eaton said.

David Stewart, vice president of administration at the university, said no decision has been made about how or if the old building will fit into the new centre.

However, early design estimates suggest it would cost $5-million to retain the building, he said.

Stewart said the university hopes to announce the final design in the next few weeks.