How IRENE was started:
The Birth of a Community Resource.
In the Summer of 1991 Reck Niebuhr approached Peter Robinson, then President of the Education Foundation of Indian River County, with what is now called the "Indian River Idea". One requirement of Reck's plan was a county wide electronic mail system. Peter recommended that Reck approach Ken Srigley, President of Vetrol Data Systems, who was running The Indian River Hotline (a community information system) as a possible home for the E-mail system.
In December of 1991 with donations from Peter and Ken a demo system, the Indian River Widearea Information Network (IRWIN) was set up in Ken's home. IRENE evolved as a part of the system devoted to learning and education. As the volume of traffic (ring..ring..ring) grew the system was moved to Vetrol Data's office and another line was added.
During this time Reck and the Ed. Foundation prepared a grant and submitted it in the School District's name to the Florida Department of Education's Technology Challenge Grant program. In October of 1992 part of the grant funds helped with the cost of installing and maintaining 8 phone lines for IRWIN/IRENE during it's second year of operation.