Demolition of the former Bretton College is underway as part of the £5m redevelopment of the Grade II-listed Bretton Hall.
The old student blocks are being bulldozed as developer Rushbond presses on with a two-year project to transform the mansion house into a luxury hotel, spa and conference facility
Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “As the old student blocks come down it opens up a new future for this superb historic building.
“I am very pleased that we have attracted a developer like Rushbond, who is creating such a high quality and unique offer.
“This multi-million pound investment will attract even more visitors to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the district, and will continue to build Wakefield’s reputation as a cultural, tourism and business destination.”
Bretton College opened at the hall in 1949. It was founded by the then chief education officer for the West Riding Sir Alec Clegg.
The college became renowned for its teacher training and education courses as well as those in art and design, music and performance.
In 2001, it merged with the University of Leeds, which it remained part of for six years until its closure in 2007.
By this point, it had grown from its original 60 pupils to more than 2,000.
The buildings were sold to Wakefield Council, who is now working with Rushbond to regenerate the site.
Guests could be staying at the new 120-bedroom hotel, in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, by next Easter.
And once complete, the development is expected to create around 100 new jobs.
Mark Finch, Rushbond’s real estate director said: “This is an opportunity to bring people into Wakefield and visit what else is on offer here.
“But it will also be a real jewel for people living here to make use of just as much.
“The development is rather exciting and unique.”