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Weta Founders to Open New Creative and Performing Arts Centre at Scots College

Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger after receiving Oscars for "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"

The recently dubbed New Zealander of the Year, Richard Taylor, and his partner (and co-founder of Weta) Tania Rodger will officially open the new Creative and Performing Arts Centre at Scots College in Strathmore, New Zealand.

The school is an independent Presbyterian school for boys in Years 1-13. According to Ian McKellen, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh’s son Billy “goes to the prestigious Scots College a stone’s throw from Stone Street where the senior Jacksons work at their film studios.”

Headmaster Graeme Yule said, “It’s been a long-held dream for the College to become a leading provider of creative education. We are extraordinarily lucky to be located on the doorstep of one of the world’s most innovative centres of creativity, with Peter Jackson and his incredible crew of actors, producers and creative specialists, plus Richard Taylor and his award-winning team at Weta Workshop just down the road in Miramar.

“We want to be the go-to school for boys with creative minds and their own big dreams for the future. We want to enable them to fully realise their potential.”

The new building, designed by award-winning Athfield Architects, “will be utilised by our students and staff during school hours, however from the outset it has been designed as an asset for the whole community,” Yule said. “We have plans to launch our Creative Night School to the public later this year, with local and visiting experts coming in to lead courses and give lectures on a whole myriad of subjects and specialist areas. Equally, the facilities are available for hire by individuals and community groups as well.”

The Scots motto of "Virtutem Paret Doctrina" translates as "Let Education Make the All-Round Man"

According to Headmaster Yule, “Each classroom, studio and practice area is equipped with the latest cutting-edge interactive and sound technology. There are computer pods for graphics and robotics, seven acoustically designed and sound-proof practice rooms, a designated rehearsal studio and performance theatre, plus plans for a full-spec recording studio and facilities for film and animation production.

“It’s hard to even imagine what our students, and members of the community will produce in this building in future, as half of it hasn’t even been thought of yet. It has been an enormous challenge for our College community to build this facility, and has involved a massive amount of hard work, tireless fundraising and support from both individuals and groups, for which we are incredibly grateful,” said Yule. “It’s all been worth it though. It’s exciting and hugely rewarding to know we really have created opportunities for great things to happen.”

“This building really is the jewel in the crown for Scots.”

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