We found Kirkenes exactly as we left it last year: fresh, calm and stunning! We are in Sør-Varanger this week for the third and last installment of the project Time is a ship that never casts anchor.
As the new hospital site came to view on our way from the airport we barely managed to keep the car on the road; where there had been a grand hole in the bedrock last summer there was now an impressive three-storey high building with dozens of little fluorescent dots busying on it.
Kitted out with matching hard hats, boots and vests, we passed the security and entered the new hospital maze for the first time under the watchful eye of our chaperone and one of the project leaders on site, Kjell Agnar Nilssen. Every corridor looks, sounds and smells the same. The staircases, windows and doorframe are identical and before you know it you have absolutely no clue whether you’re in the south or north part of the A, B, C or the D wing and which floor was it again that you saw that interesting pile of ducting…?
The last modules were slotted into place just two weeks ago and the main construction of the hospital is ready thanks to a German/Norwegian push that is operating on the three floors. Everything is on time and on budget and the ‘spaghetti house’ should be ready to welcome its first patients from the beginning of summer 2017. The teams of doctors and nurses who visited their new base of operations a couple of weeks ago have a busy autumn ahead preparing for the move, with plenty of patients, strategies, memories and new equipment to maneuver.