Kier has started construction of a super-school for pupils from three to 19 years in Bolton.
The £36m building will house Withins Secondary School, Top o' th' Brow Primary School and Firwood School when it opens in 2012. Withins Secondary School and Top o' th' Brow Primary School will merge to become Bolton St Catherine's Academy while Firwood School will remain under local education authority control.
A brick-laying ceremony with local councillors and Kier managing director, Nigel Brook, was held on Friday to mark the start of work on site.
In a joint statement, Lee Harris, principal of Bolton St Catherine's Academy, and Jonathan Steele, Firwood School head teacher, said: "The radical way that St Catherine's and Firwood have worked together will ensure we create an outstanding learning community that can be an example to us all. These facilities will support us in our aims to increase aspiration, maximise achievement and ensure everyone can make a valuable contribution.
"However, this is just the beginning. It will allow us to really expand the ground-breaking work that we have already done together, offering all students real opportunities for outstanding learning that aim to ensure they become respected contributors to their community and enjoy successful and fulfilling lives."