The new biolab building panels

Biolab siding almost done
My photo of the biolab when the new siding panels were 90% complete.

The original Robertson siding and roof panels were probably state-of-the-art in the 1960s--they consisted of an inner flat stainless steel panel and a corrugated and coated "Galbestos" galvanized steel outer panel--the coating was colored asphalt impregnated with asbestos (here is an old H. H. Robertson ad for these panels). Between the two panels was a layer of fiberglass insulation with wood stud battens. The panels were installed vertically, interlocked, and trimmed out with matching trim pieces. The new panels were foam filled steel panels with baked-on coatings inside and out. The task involved removing a few old panels at a time, replacing them with new panels while building use continued... and keeping plywood handy to seal up openings in bad weather. New features included a reconstructed vestibule, the second floor loading doors into biostores, new exterior doors, and replacement thermal windows of the same type that had been used in the new uppercase dorms at McMurdo. Additional windows were added in the stairwells and elsewhere. In this photo someone is working on the new stoop into the vestibule. Also note the display board in front of the boathouse with information for cruise ship visitors.

station as seen from the Polar Duke
Another good photo by Marian Moyher...obviously taken aboard the Polar Duke as it was either arriving or departing from a fishing it had left the gangplank behind on the pier. I'm only 90 percent sure that the guy on the pier is me, but it sure looks like it.
skytrak and biolab scaffold
This photo of the forklift also shows the scaffold on the back side of biolab after the Polar Duke had arrived and delivered the new forklift, among other things (surplus spare radiators for the original Pole generators that I'd shipped, as well as the new motorized breakers for the power plant switchgear).
Palmer Station as seen as I leave for the last time
Here's my photo of the completed project, taken from aboard the Polar Duke as the construction team departed...and I departed for the last time.

I should say a bit more about the original building siding panels, which have been crated up as seen in some of the photos. The crates had been used to ship the new panels to Palmer Station. When we'd started planning the project two years earlier, the environmental regulations at the time would have allowed us to dump the old panels (containing non-friable asbestos) into the ocean north of 60 S, as had been the practice with nonburnable trash at that time. But Palmer Station's environmental rules were aligned with international marine regulations (this was before the environmental protocol of the Antarctic Treaty was adopted). By the time the work actually took place, the marine regulations had changed, so the old panels had to be shipped to the US for disposal in an appropriate landfill.

At this time I'd started planning the similar project to replace the building panels on GWR, which was made more difficult by the fact that (unlike for Biolab) we did not have the structural steel fabrication and erection drawings. This work would be completed several years later by the new Denver support contractor ASA.