Balfour Beatty has begun construction of the £22m Darwen Vale High School in Lancashire.
The 80,000 sq ft school was designed by architects John McAslan & Partners and survived the Building Schools for the Future cull.
Several old buildings will be demolished and a new three-storey structure built to wrap around the original 1930s grammar school.
Tony Skipper, managing director of John McAslan & Partners, said: "Darwen Vale draws upon the practice's experience of creating transformational learning environments and our track record of reinvigorating buildings that are in need of a new lease of life. Importantly, the new design responds to the school's educational aspirations while also preserving important elements of its heritage."
The project aims to achieve BREEAM 'excellent' environmental standard and is set for completion in summer 2012.