Enter your contact details and we will email a prospectus to you.

We will not share your information with any third party.

Memories, a proposal and grand plans

Facebook Like Button

Such is the case for The Learning Connexion staff when they found out a couple of days ago that their dilapidated old site, Erskine College in Island Bay, had been pegged for redevelopment by the Wellington City Council.

Under threat of demolition for years, $7 million dollars will be going into restoring the old gothic Catholic boarding school and former stomping grounds of TLC’s art students.


Erskine College and developers plan

Erskine College | Developer's plan


Originally built in 1930, it is considered to be one of New Zealand’s finest gothic-style chapels. Developers will be restoring The Chapel of the Sacred Heart back to its former glory as a chapel, and refurbishing part of the site as a wedding/function centre which will fit alongside an early childcare facility and a cafe. Plans also, are to restore the Reverend Mother’s Garden.

Some of the staff at The Learning Connexion remember working in the old Erskine building. They tell us newbies stories about how they taught art to students whilst navigating buckets in drippy corridors and dealing with the on-again, off-again heating system. The moody, romantic, gothic aspect of Erskine architecture inspiring many works of art.

The redevelopment project to be undertaken will replace the old, run down college with brand new terraced houses and apartment units on the 1.8 hectare property.


Erskine College

Photograph by Jonathan Milne


I talked to TLC founder and Director, Jonathan Milne, and some of our longer serving staff members about the history of TLC, their memories of Erskine and what’s in-store for the future at our second (much cooler, and way, way, WAY warmer) home campus at Taita. 


Staff thoughts and images about Erskine College:

“Jonathan almost fell off the roof of the building as he tried to patch up all the leaks with tape and paint! He managed to hang on.”

– Alice Wilson Milne


Erskine students

Students at Erskine College. Photographs ©Michael Crump


“I remember one night watching the young local kids coming onto the property looking for a scare. At the time we lived upstairs. I managed to scare them a little with my torch and was feeling quite chuffed until one of them yelled out to their mates, 'oh look, it’s just a little old lady up there!' ”

– Alice Wilson Milne

“I spent most of my time in cold and dingy Studio B

where I encouraged my students to explore and be FREE.


Pōhutukawa natural tones illuminating AND REFLECTing into the space.

Synergy and energy in the building made it a magical place.


My favourite memories were in Studio R, being guided by a master.

It allowed my own creativity to flourish and SO BEGAN THE NEXT CHAPTER.

Dan Wilkinson


Erskine Students

Students at Erskine College. Photographs ©Michael Crump

TLC Student and tutor

Student and Illustration tutor Iain Watt at Erskine College. Photograph ©Michael Crump


Farewell notes by staff and students

Farewell notes by staff and students


The next chapter

Today, The Learning Connexion campus is set amidst four large hectares of New Zealand bush overlooking the Hutt Valley in Taita. It’s a lot more watertight than our former residence and a much more colourful place in which to work and study creativity through the vehicle of art, thanks to the talent of former student artist Sue Lund.

Our campus has a wide range of quality facilities from an on-site Materials Shop to a jewellery studio and even individual painting and drawing studios – lots of art spaces where our students are free to explore their creative ideas in a truly, supportive learning-centric environment.


TLC College panorama

The Learning Connexion: 182 Eastern Hutt Road, Lower Hutt 

TLC today


Request a prospectus for more information on our Certificate and Diploma Creativity and Art Programmes or call us on 0800 278 769 to get a guided tour of our campus.


No one has commented on this article yet.