C of I breaks ground on new library

Posted at 1:43 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 19:19:26-05

College of Idaho officials broke ground Thursday on a new multi-million dollar campus library.

Officially called the Cruzen-Murray library in honor of its donors, the building is billed as 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,” said College spokesman Jordan Rodriguez.

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, officials said.

The building is a gift from the estate of the late Deborah Cruzen Murray and her husband, Glenn Richard Murray, Jr.

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, College officials said.

"This is a landmark day for The College of Idaho," stated College of Idaho President Charlotte Borst at the morning groundbreaking ceremony. "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, Rodriguez explained. “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,” he said.

The Cruzen-Murray Library is a light-infused, glass-and-steel design has a sleek, modern look. The three-story, 55,000-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 C of I first announced plans for the library back in 2011, when the donor pledged one of the largest estate gifts in the College's 125-year history.

Thursday’s groundbreaking was one in a series 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.

“The Cruzen-Murray Library ... 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,” Borst said.

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 for 50 years, and it will continue to be an important building going forward, officials said.