The Wick High School is set to be one of the first major schools to be constructed using the hub scheme, set up by the Scottish Futures Trust.
A design brief for the estimated £37m project has been agreed following consultation. It will include new library, performance venue and swimming pool.
The new building is expected to be completed by August 2014.
The framework has been designed by the Scottish Futures Trust to find the best possible price for community-based projects rather putting them out on the external market.
The joint venture Alba Community Partnerships, which comprises of Cyril Sweett and Miller, secured the Hub North role last March.
The firms will now work on delivering the most efficient project and invited tenders from builders next year.
Neil Grice, programme manager for Hub North, said that the organisation is committed to working towards creating a first-class facility for Wick.
“It is important to emphasise that we are a development company and not a building contractor,” he said.
“We will take the Highland Council through the process of how much it will cost and how long it will take to build.
“We will then work closely with them to choose who the most appropriate building contractors and architects are to go ahead with the project.”