Balfour Beatty has been appointed as preferred bidder by Hertfordshire County Council for an £80m schools scheme in Stevenage.
The contractor had been shortlisted for the county's £1bn Building Schools for the Future deal, along with Sir Robert McAlpine, until the Department for Education pulled the plug on the plans last month.
However, it subsequently approved three sample school projects, Marriotts, Lonsdale, and Nobel.
Balfour Beatty will design, construct and provide facilities management for Marriotts and Lonsdale, the latter a special needs school, which will be co-located on to a single site.
The £45m project will be funded through a Private Finance Initiative, and Balfour Beatty will invest equity of £5m into the 25-year concession.
The Nobel school will be partially remodelled, along with substantial new building work, though a design and build contract. Balfour Beatty will also provide facilities management for 10 years.
ICT equipment and services across all the schools will be delivered in conjunction with RM, a leading provider of ICT educational solutions.
Construction work is expected to start on site in February 2011, once the contract has reached financial close.