C of I breaks ground on new Cruzen-Murray Library

Click here to view photos from the groundbreaking and architectural renderings of the library.

By next fall, The College of Idaho will be home to one of the most architecturally beautiful, state-of-the-art buildings in the Gem State—one that will serve as a new intellectual commons for C of I students, faculty and the entire campus community.

Today, the College formally breaks ground on the Cruzen-Murray Library during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony on Hayman Field. The library, which is scheduled for completion by late 2017, will serve as a new campus gateway at the intersection of 21st Street and Cleveland Boulevard, adjacent to Sterry Hall. The building is a gift from the estate of the late Deborah Cruzen Murray and her husband, Glenn Richard Murray, Jr.

“This is a landmark day for The College of Idaho,” said C of I President Charlotte Borst. “This historic new library will be an incredible addition to our campus, which shares a passion for intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning. We are overwhelmingly grateful to Deborah Cruzen Murray and her husband, Richard, for their beautiful gift and the enduring impact it will have on students for generations to come.”

Deborah Cruzen Murray is an Idaho native who supported The College of Idaho with her time, talent and treasure for many years. She had a passion for interior design, and she once used her skills to redecorate the interior of Blatchley Hall on campus. She also served on the C of I Board of Trustees.

The Cruzen-Murray Library will stand out on the College’s historic campus. Its light-infused, glass-and-steel design has a sleek, modern look and feel. The three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility will include traditional holdings of books and journals, as well as private and group study areas, a 24/7 study space, multimedia classrooms, a café, and public spaces for readings, lectures and exhibitions. The building was designed by Phoenix-based architectural firm, richärd+bauer, a nationally-recognized group known for its work with libraries and sustainable design. The library will be built by Kreizenbeck Constructors of Boise, which has an impressive portfolio of corporate and education building projects. The Cruzen-Murray Library is a multimillion-dollar undertaking. Per the wishes of the donor, exact figures of the estate gift and construction costs will not be released.

“This is such an amazing gift for the College,” C of I Library Director Christine Schutz said. “Libraries are landmarks because of the sense of community they instill. I’m so excited to see this new library bring people together and become the heart of academics on our campus.”

The C of I first announced plans for the library in 2011, when the donor pledged one of the largest estate gifts in the College’s 125-year history. Today’s groundbreaking continues an exciting trend of campus improvements—since 2010, the C of I has remodeled Boone Science Hall;  created West Hall: Center for Physician Assistant Studies; renovated Simplot Stadium and built Wolfe Field Baseball Stadium in collaboration with the City of Caldwell; and constructed the new Marty Holly Athletics Center.

“Exciting things are happening at The College of Idaho,” Borst said. “This truly is a first-class institution with a storied history of academic excellence, and the addition of the Cruzen-Murray Library is certain to advance that legacy. It will be a center of learning on campus, a place where students and faculty will come together to share knowledge and make new discoveries every single day.”

As the Cruzen-Murray Library is built over the next 20 months, a C of I committee of administrators, faculty, staff, students and trustees will work to determine the best future use of the N.L. Terteling Library. The N.L. Terteling library has served the campus community admirably for 50 years, and it will continue to be an important building going forward.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit