A former swimming pool at Lightwaves will be transformed into a workspace for trainee builders.
Wakefield College has invested £120,000 on special classrooms to be used for construction courses.
A new pedestrian entrance from Marsh Way will also be built as part of the project.
The swimming pool area was going to be made into an extreme sports arena when the Lightwaves Community Trust took on the running of the site in November last year.
But the trust decided it wouldn’t be financially viable.
Ilonka van Rijn, of the trust, said: “After explorations and consultations we have had to conclude that a skatepark would not be feasible in the current economic climate.
“But the partnership with the college means that Lightwaves has a more sustainable future. It is a huge building with many real-life learning opportunities for students.”
College principal Sam Wright said: “We are delighted that we will be able to offer construction courses at Lightwaves from September 2013. It will allow students to work in industry-standard facilities in a great central location.
“I have no doubt this new development will be something that staff, students and the wider community will take great pride in.”
Wakefield Council passed Lightwaves over to the trust when the new Sun Lane Leisure opened.
The council decided it could no longer afford to run the centre, particularly as the swimming pool was found to be needing repairs costing around £500,000.