MUSTANSIRYA, Iraq - District leaders, school administrators, Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division - Baghdad paratroopers celebrated the completion of a school renovation March 3 in the Rusafa District of eastern Baghdad.

Faysal Jasim Mohammad, Rusafa Deputy District Council Chairman, along with Al-Moutasam Kindergarten officials commemorated the reopening of its school with a festive party. Mohammad cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially reopen the school.

Following cheers and applause, attendees walked through the school to see the improvements made. ISF, along with paratroopers assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment attended the event as a sign of partnership with the district of Rusafa and its citizens.

The construction of a new art facility was the main project in the school's revitalization efforts. Other refurbishments included fixing plumbing and electrical systems, replacing classroom doors, installing new windows and painting the facility.

The new art facility is a sign that Iraqi education officials are continuing efforts to develop educational programs outside of general subjects.
"This is a great thing that we are seeing this school being renovated in our district," said Alaa' Radey, an official from the Rusafa ministry of higher education. "This is a sign of progression in our educational systems with the grand opening of this school's art facility. This is a great thing not just for Rusafa and Baghdad but for all of Iraq."

Paratroopers assigned to 5th Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt., were impressed with the school and its renovations.

"The turnout of people today is phenomenal," said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Workman, a native of Gainesville, Fla., assigned to the non-lethal effects section of the 5th Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt. "This is the best school opening yet and it's a good sign that great things are coming to Iraq."

The Department of Education for Rusafa's district one is currently planning several projects for the future, including building more than 30 new schools across the district and renovating more than 70 existing schools.