Photo courtesy Oak Park Housing Authority

One of Oak Park’s tallest buildings is about to get a little cosmetic surgery early next year.

The concrete façade of 19-story Mills Park Tower is starting to crack, and its windows need to be resealed. There are no structural integrity issues with the building, but its owner plans to patch up the exterior problems this spring or summer.

The tower is located at 1025 Pleasant Place and is owned by the Oak Park Housing Authority. It has 198 units available for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Mills was built in 1975 and hasn’t had any exterior touch-ups in 20 years, said Ed Solan, executive director of the housing authority.

The agency will seek bids for the work in the next few months, expecting it to cost at least $250,000. The work will hopefully be completed by next summer, he said.

“This is not something we can do over the winter, but it doesn’t need to be done right away,” Solan said. “It’s something that needs to be done, but there’s no immediate urgency to it.”

He doesn’t expect the exterior work to be disruptive for residents as it will all be done from the outside. This is relatively routine work for a building of Mills Park’s height, he added.

The housing authority also plans to open a computer lab at Mills Park for residents in early 2011, located in the community room on the first floor of the building. A similar lab is opening at another senior building, the 76-unit Oaks, at 114 S. Humphrey. The housing authority and the Oak Park Residence Corporation are paying for the equipment, the centers and two years’ worth of on-site instruction with federal and state grants.

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