Drugs company GlaxoSmithKline is planning to pull out of Greenford - along with the 800 jobs it provides.
The company's leaving would result in the closure of the research and development site on Greenford Road and of the leisure club on Oldfield Lane North, owned by Glaxo, which is a valued venue for community events.
But upheaval for some residents has meant hope for others, as negotiations are underway between the council and the pharmaceutical company to turn the club's site into the new high school planned for the borough.
The plan would take the pressure off Ealing Central Sports Ground in Perivale, which looked like the most likely site until now.
Council leader Jason Stacey said talks had not been finalised but were positive.
He added: "The idea is to keep the site for community use and the area is the perfect size for a high school.
"But the first thing we need to do is to consult residents in the area and go from there."
Patricia Zuchowska, chairwoman of the Perivale Residents' Society, expressed sympathy for the Glaxo workers, but speaking about the new school plans she said: "I can't tell you how delighted we would all be if this came to fruition. It's been our sports ground for 50-odd years and it's used so much by the local populus, there's nowhere else for them to go."
A spokeswoman for the firm, which has been in the area since the 1930s, said there would no compulsory redundancies. She said: "This is a consultation to the process, so it is not imminent. The plan is to transfer the staff to Stockley Park in Uxbridge towards the back half of next year.
"It is part of our overall research and development strategy looking at releasing some funds, a lot of which are tied up in that site, and reinvest it in drug development.
"There is a significant investment in keeping the site open, which at the moment is nowhere near capacity."
Ealing North MP Stephen Pound said: "I am relieved to hear that there will be no compulsory redundancies, but fear for those people living near Greenford Road, who now face the Hobson's choice of a commute to Stockley Park or the loss of their job."