North Pole is 15 miles southeast of Fairbanks, developed after the Second World War due to an oil refinery, nearby military bases, and a recognizable postmark. The newness of the surrounding community is reflected in the high school, a bold and colorful building in an often bleak landscape.
The North Pole High School was designed by the Fairbanks firm of Design Alaska. The austere concrete walls are enlivened by a variety of geometric shapes painted different colors and separated by red and blue lines. The tall, windowless block in the center of the front is the fly for the stage; the auditorium behind it seats 450. Classrooms are arranged on hallways on two sides of the building. Near the entrance is the cafeteria, open to the corridors, and the gymnasium is in the block to the right. Displaying a lively use of concrete, the design has won awards from the Alaska chapter of the AIA and American Society of School Administrators in conjunction with the AIA.