Carillion and Equitix face an extended wait to learn who has won the £110 million Cambridgeshire Building Schools for the Future contract.
The two bidders were due to learn who had won the deal this month, but the council has pushed back a decision until the end of the year.
A Cambridgeshire County Council source told CNplus: “We closed dialogue three weeks ago, which was a bit later than expected.
“We are about three months behind but hope to announce a winner by the end of the year.”
The winning bidder will rebuild or refurbish six secondary schools in the East Anglian county under the £55 billion national BSF scheme.