Construction updates on library, residence halls

The College of Idaho campus has been bustling this fall—not only with students shuttling back and forth between classes, but also with the booming sounds of machinery restoring Voorhees Hall and constructing the new Cruzen-Murray Library.

To date, construction is right on schedule. Voorhees has been emptied to its brick shell in preparation for a major overhaul inside. And each day, the Cruzen-Murray Library comes together like a jigsaw puzzle. It currently resembles the Roman Colosseum, as its concrete walls reach skyward.

“With footing and foundation work complete on the Cruzen-Murray Library project, construction activities in December will become visible, as placement of the structural steel and plaza level decking begins,” said C of I Director of Facilities Mike Kaltenecker.

The Cruzen-Murray Library will stand out on the College’s historic campus. Its light-infused, glass-and-steel design will have 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.

Renovation of both residence halls is expected to be done before the start of the 2017-18 academic year. Voorhees and Finney halls are undergoing $4 million renovations that will include completely refurbished interiors, additional wings to house new stairwells and other exterior upgrades, study rooms, lounge areas, updated furnishings and elevators.

The renovation of Voorhees, and later Finney, is in the caring hands of someone who knows a little about both historic buildings. Alumnus Andy Erstad ’82 of Erstad Architects—a former resident of Voorhees Hall—was tapped to update the historic halls for the 21st Century.

“Being involved in the renovation has been very fulfilling—and at times intimidating,” Erstad said. “We are making some very significant changes that respond to current student desires, general housing needs, flexibility goals of the College, and the age-old challenge of maintaining the character of such a prominent fixture on campus.”

Renovation of Voorhees Hall is on schedule to be completed by January, allowing students to occupy it for the spring semester. Work will continue in December to construct interior walls and brick the east and west stair towers. And once Voorhees is finished, crews will begin work on Finney.

“With the choices students have across the country, the move by the College to renovate Voorhees and Finney into state-of-the art facilities is an investment in the sustainability of the structures as well as the culture on campus,” Erstad said. “And we are honored to be involved in both projects.”

To view live construction updates of the library, click here.

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