A BALLAST Wiltshier-led consortium is preferred bidder on a flagship private finance education scheme in Falkirk worth £65 million.
The scheme is the most advanced proposal of its kind in the UK to 'bundle up' a number of schools into one concession.
A joint Balfour Beatty/Morrison team has been held in reserve. HBG GA finished in third place.
Stuart Ritchie, the council's project manager, said: 'We will sit down and negotiate with Ballast Wiltshier with a view to signing all legal documents by March 31, 1998.
'We would then hope to start building work in early summer 1998.'
Under the terms of the deal, Ballast Wiltshier will build replacement schools at Graerne, Dawson, Braes and Bo'ness.
The existing schools in these areas are in poor condition and will be demolished and the sites sold. The council has identified alternative sites, but has not yet secured planning permission.
Ballast Wiltshier will also extend the existing Lambert High School. The project could be worth more than £200 million in total over its 25- year period.