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Cruzen-Murray Library receives top design honor at AIA regional conference

October 11, 2018
Portrait of the Cruzen-Murray Library during Summer 2018.

The College of Idaho’s Cruzen-Murray Library has become a popular and campus-defining landmark since its grand opening nearly a year ago – and the American Institute of Architects has likewise given its seal of approval.

At the 2018 AIA Western Mountain Region Conference in Tucson, Arizona on Oct. 5, the Cruzen-Murray Library was awarded the 2018 Design Excellence Honor Award, recognizing the high standard of the library’s design in response to user requirements, site, context, climate and environment. The Honor award is the highest level the AIA grants its recipients.

“We are thrilled with the well-deserved recognition our Cruzen-Murray Library has received,” said C of I Co-President Jim Everett. “It is a magnificent architectural gem, which has become the centerpiece and gathering place for our beautiful campus.  From classrooms, to collaborative work spaces to traditional quiet reading areas, it is wonderful to see our students, faculty and staff experience the joy the library of today brings to life.”

Representatives from the C of I and the Cruzen-Murray Library’s designing architecture firm richärd+bauer were on hand to accept the award last Friday during the annual conference’s awards banquet. Although the group knew in advance the library would receive an award at the conference, they did not know what kind of award they would receive.

“It feels great to receive this honor and to celebrate this job well done with the College,” said Jeremy Kotter, project manager at richärd+bauer. “We enjoyed working together with the College. Having the chance to celebrate this award with them in Arizona was a treat for us.”

C of I User Services Librarian Lance McGrath traveled to Tucson to represent the library itself at the ceremony. McGrath gave high praise to Kotter and the rest of the richärd+bauer design team for their role in the Cruzen-Murray Library’s design, commending their professionalism and creativity.

“I can say without hesitation that I was immensely impressed by the energy, talent, focus, and commitment to customer needs that the team at richärd+bauer brought to the table,” McGrath said. “I am delighted that The College of Idaho can share this appropriately earned high honor with richärd+bauer.”

The C of I will receive a framed citation for the award to be displayed in the library itself in recognition of the honor.

“I feel lucky to have been able to work with the amazing and creative team at richärd+bauer, and I am excited for them to have received this well-deserved honor,” said Christine Schutz, C of I’s Library Director. “The Cruzen-Murray Library building represents a truly artful response to our program. The building is a striking addition to our campus but, most importantly from my perspective, it provides a host of beautiful and functional library spaces that our students really seem to enjoy.”

The College of Idaho has a 127-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, 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