Almost 500 pupils are fighting for a place at the first new secondary school to be built in Canterbury for almost 60 years.
A final funding agreement for Barton Manor in Spring Lane has now been signed by the Department for Education, paving the way for the £20 million comprehensive to open this September.
It will welcome an initial Year 7 cohort of 150 pupils, with the 494 youngsters who have applied for a place learning their fate on Tuesday.
Bosses have also started recruiting teaching staff ahead of the launch.
Barton Manor will be part of the Barton Court Academy Trust (BCAT), which also runs the city’s Barton Court Grammar, and the Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs.
Construction of the new school is due to finish on March 11, with the trust taking ownership on May 1.
It is being built on the site of the former Chaucer School, which closed its doors in 2015 after falling standards and dwindling student numbers led the county council to declare it “no longer viable”.
By 2026, Barton Manor will build up to having five year groups, and hopes to offer sixth form provision within two to three years.
The Trust’s executive head teacher, Kirstin Cardus, said: “We are absolutely delighted that after much hard work, we have reached this major milestone in providing a brand new school for local children to receive a quality education with the most incredible facilities.
“We very much look forward to welcoming students, parents and staff to our school community and we can’t wait until we are formally handed the keys to the building and can start to move in.
“Barton Manor will be a welcome addition to our already thriving trust, and there are many planned opportunities for sharing best practice and resources to benefit all children within the trust.
“It is our intention for the school to be a focal point of support for the local community and we look forward to working with our local partners and local community groups.
“Our excellent facilities are to be shared and we have started to take bookings for lettings already, and are keen to hear from the local community how we can offer any support.”
The building has not been welcomed by all, with some neighbours claiming living in its shadow is “like having a prison wall around us”.
But bosses are confident the school will be a game-changer for education in Canterbury, especially when demand for spaces increases when planned housing developments come to fruition.
Shellina Prendergast, KCC’s cabinet member for education, said: “Particular credit is due to our project team who have worked with Barton Court Academy Trust, the DfE and the construction company Kier to create this fantastic new building.”
KentOnline will run a guide on Tuesday offering parents advice on how to appeal decisions if they are not happy with their first choice of school.