Two developers are in the running to build Kearsley Academy.
Balfour Beatty and BAM successfully beat off competition from five other large construction firms to become the preferred bidders for the £11.7m scheme.
The two companies will now work up detailed bids for consideration by council representatives and academy sponsors in August.
The lead sponsor for the academy is Northern Education. The co-sponsor is Bolton Council, with the University of Bolton as the education partner.
The academy, formerly known as George Tomlinson School, will accommodate 950 pupils, 11 to 18 years old.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Nick Peel, said: “Both companies have a wealth of expertise and experience and both their bids were really impressive. We are now looking forward to going through the final plans and selecting a preferred bidder.”
As with the Essa and St Catherine’s, the new academy will remain part of the Bolton family of schools.
Once the preferred bidder is chosen, the school will benefit from a complete rebuild, including a new sixth form college, with work potentially beginning early next year.