A contract worth about £200m to build and manage new schools in Dumfries and Galloway is expected to be finalised within a matter of days.
A new school will be built in Kirkcudbright as part of the plan
The local authority is ready to sign a Public Private Partnership deal with consortium group E4D&G.
Councillors will be asked to approve the contract next week.
The scheme will see the construction of nine new schools across south west Scotland, as well as one major refurbishment project.
The PPP plan will see primary schools built in Castle Douglas, Heathhall, Kirkcudbright, Lockerbie and Thornhill, as well as a Dumfries Roman Catholic school.
Secondaries in Thornhill and Lockerbie and an "all through" primary and secondary in Moffat are included in the project.
Major refurbishment works will take place at Stranraer Academy.
Council leader Ivor Hyslop said the latest news was an important step towards improving education in the region.
"It is a significant milestone the fact that we are actually at a stage where we could be signing a £200m contract," he said.
"We are now at the stage where we have recommended to full council that we look forward to going to financial close."
Mr Hyslop said that only a "spanner in the works" would stop that process taking place next week.
That will then pave the way for construction of the new buildings.
"I think the predicted date is 2009 that we will have the first of our new schools up and running and by 2010 they should all be up and built," said Mr Hyslop.