Funding of almost £25 million could be jeopardised if a school construction is delayed.
Funds of £24.8 million have been secured from the Scottish Government via the Scottish Futures Trust for the planned Inverurie Community Campus.
Stringent deadlines have been laid out for Aberdeenshire Council to stick to or it risks losing the cash.
A report has been made on the issue to the council’s education and children’s services committee.
It said: “There are stringent timescales to be met in order to secure the funding package from Scottish Futures Trust and conclusion of the design is required to allow the project to progress and meet the timescale of the building being completed and occupied by spring 2020.
“It is imperative that these deadlines are met in order not to jeopardise the funding agreement from Scottish Futures Trust.”
The timescales include concluding the detailed design phase by summer 2017, contract signing by early 2018, starting on site by spring 2018, as well as demolition and “externals” completion by spring 2021.
The plans would see a bespoke facility created for Inverurie’s St Andrew’s School at the new multi-million pound campus which would be built on playing fields at the town’s current academy site.
St Andrew’s would have separate classrooms, therapy suites, toilets and changing facilities.
Pupils would also have their own entrance to the building.
A consultation for the £54 million development was held in February which sought views from pupils, parents, staff and other community representatives.
Two respondents were concerned that the school may not be big enough to cope with future population growth, and one respondent believed the “whole building” was “not large enough”.
Councillors will go through the report – by Maria Walker, director of education children’s services – at committee on Thursday.
A separate report on project funding will be prepared for a future date.