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MOUNT CLEMENS, MI-The Art Center in Mount Clemens has launched a $1 million capital campaign to expand the facility. Three Mount Clemens families have already donated a combined $700,000 to the project to allow work on the center to begin.

The art center, housed in the historic Carnegie Library in downtown Mount Clemens since 1969, will break ground on a 3,500-sf expansion this month. The building is listed on the state’s historic register. Improvements to the original 8,000-sf building include air conditioning and improved climate control. The changes will allow more displays throughout the summer.

“The center is an asset that needs to be renovated,” says Gabe Anton, a Mount Clemens developer, philanthropist and one of the leaders of the fund-raising efforts. “Currently, it doesn’t have the amenities to be an effective art center.”

The center will also be renamed when completed to the Anton Arts Center, in honor of contributions to the center by Anton and his wife, Suzanne. Initial plans call for a glass and limestone expansion to the building, which will include additional galleries, two classrooms in the basement and executive offices. The addition will include a second entrance and an elevator to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The building is owned by the City of Mount Clemens, which leases it to the non-profit agency that runs the center for $1 per year.

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