James Norris Physical Education Center
Norris Center Complex
The Norris Center Complex is broken up into multiple areas, each serving a different purpose and available to the public. More information can be found by selecting an area from the list below.
About the Norris Center
The Norris Center is home for all Lake Superior State University's athletic
teams, including the three-time NCAA Division 1 champion hockey
team. The School
of Recreation and Exercise Science has offices on the first floor.
The second floor houses the Criminal
Justice Department, whose facilities include classrooms, fire science
and criminalistics laboratories, and a firing range. The complex includes the Cooper Gymnsasium, the Taffy Abel Arena, the Student Activities Center, swimming and diving pools, racquetball courts, dance studio, locker rooms, firearm range, and athletic offices.
As it stands today, the Center is the product of the combined efforts of the faculty, students, Sault Ste Marie citizens, the State of Michigan and federal government. Work began in 1972 when what was then the Lake Superior State College Board of Control approved the resolution for the physical education building. After much fundraising, ground was broken on the new building on October 19, 1974 and was completed two years later in the Fall of 1976.
There would later be expansions and updates to the facility, including the $3.2 million expansion to what would become the Clarence "Taffy" Abel Arena, named after the legendary Sault Ste. Marie hockey star and Native American. The Arbuckle Student Activity Center was constructed in 1999 at a cost of $3 million and added to the sports complex multiple indoor courts, track, and a fitness center.
The Norris Center will soon begin building a new atrium onto the front entrance of the building. The new atrium will feature brick pavers that can be personalized with individual and company names, dates and special messages for a nominal fee.
LSSU Foundation Executive Director Tom Coates. "The new Norris
Plaza will be a gateway to the next generation of traditions and
legends and it is fitting that this area will also allow our fans to
show their pride and leave their own lasting tribute."
More information can be found here.