AUGUSTA — A Maine National Guard proposal to build a new headquarters building on land next to the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in north Augusta has won Planning Board approval and construction could start next summer, though a group of veterans hopes to stop the plan.

The Guard plans to build a new 100,000-square-foot building between Civic Center Drive and Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, to serve as the Joint Force Headquarters for the Army and Air Guard in Maine.

The $32 million building will house the Guard’s administrative office functions, most of which are now at Camp Keyes next to the Augusta State Airport. Around 200 Guard workers could report there for work, including on monthly drill weekends.

Camp Keyes will remain in the Guard’s hands, with a large shop used for heavy equipment maintenance, a warehouse, military museum, print plant and some training space remaining. However, older office buildings at Camp Keyes will be demolished.

Construction of the new building is funded in the federal budget for 2015, one of only seven such projects approved in the budget, according to Lt. Col. Gregory Leimbach, director of facilities for the Maine National Guard. There’s always a chance, with spending cutbacks, the project could lose its funding, but Leimbach remains optimistic.

“It looks good that it’s going to get funded,” he said. “We’ll receive the funding in 2015 and then we’d send it out to bid. So we’ll probably have groundbreaking around this time next year, possibly a little sooner.”

Army veteran Don McIntire of Farmington figures that gives him about a year to fight against the project.

McIntire, whose parents are buried in the older section of the adjacent cemetery, said he considers the forested grounds where the new Guard headquarters will be built to be part of the cemetery, and, thus hallowed ground that should remain as part of the cemetery.

“As far as I’m concerned it is part of the cemetery,” McIntire said. “I see no reason why they should encroach on the veterans cemetery to build a new headquarters, when there’s so much land they could build on in Maine. Losing that part of the veterans cemetery is going to be something that bothers me the rest of my days.”

Leimbach said McIntire’s concerns are unwarranted, noting the new building will not be visible from the adjacent cemetery, and “a good solid buffer of woodland” will be maintained between the new building, the cemetery, and homes to the north of the site along Civic Center Drive.

He noted there are cemeteries visible outside some of the Camp Keyes buildings now.

McIntire said state officials have been dismissive of his concerns and reluctant to share information about the project with him. He vowed to keep fighting against it and said he’s heard from numerous people, many of them also veterans, who are also opposed to the building’s location on what he considers to be the cemetery’s grounds.