The first bit of actual construction in support of the McMurdo master plan is to be a significant remodeling, upgrade, and 11,500 SF expansion of the current 11,000 SF (on each floor) SSC, to eventually house expanded/upgraded NSF, NASA and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) data centers (reference page about JPSS, a joint NOAA-NASA program), the NSF network operations center (NOC), SPAWAR offices, other associated offices, ET shops, UPS systems, and a backup generator...all secured with card key access. The reasons for this project--presumably because more data center and NOC space is required...and also perhaps to replace some of the existing operations facilities that need to be torn down to make room for future construction (although Building 165 does NOT occupy the footprint of a proposed structure). The "phase one" work consists primarily of the new addition to the south side of the existing structure, while "phase two" would renovate the existing building.
The project design criteria was hashed out by the stakeholders in a 2-day planning meeting (termed a "charrette") in the spring of 2016, as described here on this August 2016 Future USAP page. Based on the meeting, conceptual design drawings were prepared. And in November of 2016, a solicitation was made for prospective bidders for the design/build contract for this project, which had a preliminary estimate of 10-15 million dollars excluding shipping. A meeting with the prospective bidders was held in the ASC Denver office in February...and the project schedule calls for contract award in March 2018 and completion in the 2019-20 season.
Of interest...while USAP/ASC has engaged outside contractors in the past for design studies and specialty construction projects such as fuel tanks, the general construction of buildings and utilities has normally been carried out by the prime USAP contractor (Leidos at present) and its subcontractors. This project would be the first general design-build actually awarded to a separate contractor. (Note that some consideration had been given to hiring a separate contractor for construction of the current South Pole station, but this idea was abandoned during the early stages of the contracting and bidding process for the 2000-10 USAP support contractor.)
Credits: the photos on this page are from this Future USAP page describing the project design process; other links are from this Future USAP documentation page, which is referenced in the original project solicitation.