STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) -- The University of Connecticut campus is a totally different place from when Jim Calhoun arrived in 1986.
Well over $2 billion has been invested in the school and at the five other UConn campuses.
It has been a combination of a huge amount coming from state taxpayers and some from private investment.
The spending enhanced academics and research with a mammoth investment in the infrastructure.
Every building has been redone in some way, and many have been added, resulting in an extraordinary growth in enrollment at the school.
In part, it was the tremendous success of the UConn basketball program, both men's and women's, that gave the state's political leaders the political will to vote to spend all that money.
Harry Hartley was President of UConn from 1990 to 1996.
"I went public with our request for almost 2 billion at the time, shortly thereafter, both teams were ranked number one in the country," he said. "First time that ever happened in the NCAA."
Former Speaker of the House Tom Ritter, who with then Governor John Rowland, ushered the UConn 2000 project through the legislature in 1995, gives much credit to Calhoun.
"When Coach came here in '86, there was no enthusiasm for the school in the legislature," he said. "He turned things around up here and Coach Auriemma, the same thing."
Both say it not only helped pass the legislation, it helped bring in donations.
"Alumnae proud of their university, giving us money, but the quality of students applying to UConn rose because, for the first time, we now had a national image," Hartley said.
Calhoun not only had a big impact on the game, he had a huge impact on the school.
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