About North High School

In 1938, with Phoenix Union High School District’s enrollment over 5,000 students, a new high school was built. North Phoenix High School opened its doors to 1,517 students in 1939. The name was changed to North High School in 1959. 

Between 1949 and 1957, the District built an additional five schools—West,
Camelback, South Mountain, Central and Carl Hayden. Continued growth led to construction of Alhambra, East and Maryvale in the ‘60s, and Trevor G. Browne in 1972. 

Declining enrollment during the ‘80s forced the closure of four schools- North High closed in 1981, only to reopen in 1983. Phoenix Union ending its glorious reign after 87 years in 1982, along with East and West High Schools. West reopened in 1985 as Metro Tech Vocational Institute of Phoenix, and eventually became the magnet high school, Metro Tech in 1999 with the creation of a 9-12-grade academic and career/technical school. 

Excerpt from: Phoenix Union High School District Website:


Phoenix High School/North High School

1101 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix

Opened in 1939 and was named North High School in 1959.

features: North High opened in the fall of 1939. It was planned and financed through the use of Roosevelt’s New Deal Works Projects Administration and Public Works Administration funds. North High was shuttered because of declining enrollment in 1981. Parents sued the Phoenix Union High School district over the closure, and a U.S. District Court judge ruled in their favor. The school reopened in 1983. Today it is known for a popular International Baccalaureate Magnet Program.

One unique aspect of the school are the built-in student lockers that still remain in the hallways. While every other school in the district has removed the lockers from years past, North still has them. Film and commercial producers have said it reminds people of a traditional high school.

The original gym is a classic, and was used in the filming of Charles Barkley’s “I am not a role model” commercial for Nike. The football field likewise has an old-school look, with lattice tower light poles, and a concrete grandstand.

Excerpt from:
Cathry Creno, The Republic | azcentral.com Published
July 1, 2014 | 
Updated July 6, 2015