It was a decade ago that long-suffering high school students in Study Butte, Texas, gave up the unenviable distinction of enduring the longest school bus ride in America. The opening of a high school just west of Big Bend National Park in 1997 ended the harsh choice facing many local teens: Drop out or commute the 160 miles round trip daily to Alpine. Since the long commute ended, graduation rates have soared. After the new high school, a new library was erected, leaving an open space between the two buildings for the Big Bend School District's final project. All that is missing is a large gymnasium, cafeteria and auditorium complex — but that is stalled for lack of money. And until it is built, students eat outside and play interscholastic basketball games on a concrete court.