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Troy Littleton

Silverlake versus Shadow Creek Ranch -- Best Choice?

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It looks like I will be moving to the Houston area from Boston come summer 2007, and will be working at the medical center. We've been looking primarily at Pearland, and in particular, the Silverlake/silvercreek and Shadow Creek Ranch areas. I have a 7 year old, so schools are important.

I was wondering what locals viewed as the major differences between the two areas. It looks like silverlake has the edge in schools, as the kids all go to local pearland schools, not Alvin or Manvil like SCR.

It also looks like Silverlake is a more mature neighboorhood, with SCR still developing.

Are there other things we should consider that are important -- what are the tax rates of the two areas in terms of property taxes. Also, what is the average HOA fees for the two areas? Finally, I see MUD disclosure alot with looking at the HAR housing site. Can someone explain this in detail.

I appreciate any help local residents can offer.

Thanks.

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"I was wondering what locals viewed as the major differences between the two areas. It looks like silverlake has the edge in schools, as the kids all go to local pearland schools, not Alvin or Manvil like SCR."

Marek Elementary of Alvin ISD is in the city limits of Pearland, though. Alvin ISD has plans to build a junior high school in SCR (this serves the Brazoria County section of SCR). The middle school (Manvel Junior High School) and high school (Manvel High School) for Brazoria SCR as of right now are both in Manvel, Texas.

There is a bit of Shadow Creek Ranch in Fort Bend County - That's in Fort Bend ISD.

That section is zoned to:

* Goodman Elementary School

* Baines Middle School

* Hightower High School

As of now, Alvin ISD is allowing kids in the Fort Bend part of SCR to attend Marek Elementary in Alvin ISD http://www.thefacts.com/story.lasso?ewcd=93cbae23a45c958b

I know Silverlake is in Pearland ISD, but lemme see which schools it is zoned to.

EDIT: According to this, Silverlake is divided into three elementary attendnace zones:

* Silverlake Map: http://www.silverlaketexas.com/images/Silv...0Full%20Res.jpg

* Pearland ISD Elem Zoning Boundary: http://www.pearlandisd.org/pisd/support_doc/elem_map.pdf

The elementary schools are:

* Massey Ranch Elementary School

* Silvercrest Elementary School

* Silverlake Elementary School

As for intermediate schools: http://www.pearlandisd.org/pisd/support_doc/mid_map_.pdf

* Rogers Middle School (5-6)

* Pearland Junior High School South (7-8)

* Pearland High School

Edited by VicMan

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Hi Troy-

I live in Silverlake and I love it. I think both neighborhoods are great and both have pros and cons. I have to say that I think Shadowcreek Ranch is an absolutely beautiful neighborhood. Since it's larger and newer it has more amenities than Silverlake.

Silverlake has excellent schools. The Pearland district is recognized but all the Alvin schools that Shadowcreek is zoned to are good schools. I'm not positive, but I think the tax rate may be higher in SCR. It's possible that the rate will be reduced as new development goes in. As you may know there is quite a bit of development being built up in the area.

Just wondering have you had a chance to drive through the areas or are you doing all of your looking online?

Edited by blocked writer

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First, my disclaimer, I am a Realtor. I office in Pearland.

That said, the tax rates for SCR are substantially higher than most of Silverlake. I just closed a deal in a section of Silverlake that is within the city limits of Pearland and the tax rate is around 3%. SCR's tax rate is 4.02%. A new section of SCR is in Fort Bend School District's zone and the tax ratre there is in the 3.80% range. There are areas of Silverlake that have a higher tax rate, but it does not get close to SCR's tax rate. The big difference in rates is the MUD issue that you asked about. A MUD is a Municipal Utility District. It is how water and sewage are handled in unicorporated areas. Bonds are issued and the property tax charged by the MUD pays back the bond issue. Many of the MUDs are in what is known as an Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of a city be it Pearland, Alvin, or Houston. This means that the area can be annexed by that city at a later date. Generally, if the city annexs an area, the MUDs in that area would be disolved and the city would pay off the debt and take over the water and sewer. In other words, the tax rate would probably go down. Silverlake stands a good chance of being annexed by Pearland.

THere is also a newer neighborhood called Silvercreek which is next to Silverlake. It has new and recent homes and the tax rate, last I checked, was 3.33%. It has some of the newer community amenities that SCR has.

SCR is a very nice community. A well thought out master plan. Some good builders and the schools within the community are good. There is a hospital and a town center retail development that are currently beginning construction. A new concept HEB store is going in that will be easily accesses from SCR. Until those develpments are complete, you have to access all shopping on the Silverlake side of Highway 288.

All in all it is sort of a coin flip. SCR is newer, has a little better assortment of housing, some nice amenities, and a higher tax rate. Silverlake is more mature, has a nice golf course, and easier access to shopping. Silvercreek is a smaller community, newer, and nice amenities. The difference in the HOA dues depends on what neighborhood, or section, you live in within the whole development. The difference would be in the hundred dollar range for the most part. Other than that, it all depends on what is important to you.

If you need more info, you can send me a message.

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All in all it is sort of a coin flip.

I totally agree.... My house is in SCR and I love it (Even with the high Taxes). Don't have kids, but I understand that we will have 7 schools and a University campus by the time SCR is completed (They are building the second school already)

In general the west Pearland area is a great place to live.

Traffic is getting complicated, but not close to Boston standards. If you avoid rush hour, your time to the medical center will be around 10 minutes, otherwise between 30-40 minutes. Galleria 15 minutes, Hobby Airport 10 minutes, Galveston 40 minutes...... But with all the development we are having in the area, pretty soon I don't think I'll be driving that much.

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I totally agree.... My house is in SCR and I love it (Even with the high Taxes). Don't have kids, but I understand that we will have 7 schools and a University campus by the time SCR is completed (They are building the second school already)

In general the west Pearland area is a great place to live.

Traffic is getting complicated, but not close to Boston standards. If you avoid rush hour, your time to the medical center will be around 10 minutes, otherwise between 30-40 minutes. Galleria 15 minutes, Hobby Airport 10 minutes, Galveston 40 minutes...... But with all the development we are having in the area, pretty soon I don't think I'll be driving that much.

10 minutes my @ss, do you have a helicopter. maybe 20 from your door to a parking garage in the med center with absolutley no traffic driving 65 on the freeway. other days could be three times as long. I won't even tackle your other travel times maybe someone else will. But all pretty nice places to live. I would say SCR if you can afford it will be your best choice in the long run. What price range are you looking at? That should tell us which neighborhood will fit you best too.

yeah i will..

no traffic with traffic

medical center 20min 45 min

galleria 20 min 50 min

hobby airport 20 min 35 min

galveston 50 min 80 min

Edited by westguy76

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Quick question since Chamo mentioned the university. Not trying to hijack the thread :) Is the planned university a branch of UT? I ask because I heard that UT nursing school was planning a campus in Pearland. Does anyone know the timeline.

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10 minutes my @ss, do you have a helicopter. maybe 20 from your door to a parking garage in the med center with absolutley no traffic driving 65 on the freeway. other days could be three times as long. I won't even tackle your other travel times maybe someone else will. But all pretty nice places to live. I would say SCR if you can afford it will be your best choice in the long run. What price range are you looking at? That should tell us which neighborhood will fit you best too.

yeah i will..

no traffic with traffic

medical center 20min 45 min

galleria 20 min 50 min

hobby airport 20 min 35 min

galveston 50 min 80 min

No wonder I get so many tickets....

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Quick question since Chamo mentioned the university. Not trying to hijack the thread :) Is the planned university a branch of UT? I ask because I heard that UT nursing school was planning a campus in Pearland. Does anyone know the timeline.

I understand it is indeed a branch of UT.... Have done some research but have not been able to find any indication on construction schedule.

My best guess would be 2009-2010 once The Spectrum development gains strenght. But again, as it was pointed before, I'm not the best with numbers and estimates.

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I also live in SCR and have been happy so far. Regardless which side you live on, getting out of each subdivision can be a pain (and telling friends and family how to get to your house). They are curvy, mysterious roads. It's true in any Houston suburb which is why Houston has been ranked as such as difficult city to get around.

I think SCR has more potential in the LONG run while the Silver side of things is more settled now. There has been a massive slowdown in home sales in SCR (and all over the country). Nationwide, there have been 6 straight decreasing months in home sales. For those looking at moving into SCR NEXT summer, it will be very, very different from now. Currently, there is a CVS on the west side of 288. Eight months from now, I can hardly begin how many stores/restaurants there will be. SCR Town Center will open late summer 2007. Spectrum is supposed to be partially open by the end of next year. Pearland Town Center will be open in 2008. The homes came first, now comes the commercial building craze in far west Pearland.

I'm looking forward to all the future conveniences but I am worried about the traffic. With the SCR development and more projects a few miles south on 288 near Manvel, and it will be getting worse. I agree with Westguy's time approximations. My wife works in downtown Houston and it takes her about 45 minutes at 7:45am. If we go out to eat on a Saturday night, we can be downtown in 25 - that's door to door. I work near NASA and my commute is about 30-35 minutes each way, regardless of the time of day.

I know that many of the SCR residents are doctors. There are about 10 families living in my subdivision now and I know of at least 6 doctors. Incredible. Many of them work in the Texas Medical Center so I'm guessing they frequently take 521 (Almeda) towards Houston due to SCR's proximity to that road.

Also, I don't know what the UT branch will be but the map shows about 7 smaller buildings on the north side of SCR between Kirby and Kingsly.

The map also lists Alvin Community College in the SW corner of SCR.

Edited by BWSchultz

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I believe all of the city of Pearland areas in Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD are zoned to Alvin CC, which has a branch in Pearland.

Edited by VicMan

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Thanks for the help.

We're looking at the 350,000-500,000 price range, so both areas have potential homes in that range that are on the market.

We have drove around silverlake and toured a few houses on our last visit, but didn't get to see Shadow Creek ranch. Most of the info I've gathered has been through HAR and google earth, looking at the houses listed for sale and their location.

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to what factors led Pearlanders to choose this part of town as opposed to other suburbs with comparable schools, retail offerings, etc. I know that an easy commute was a big motivator for a lot of folks, but now that there is so much traffic in that area, is it still a demand driver?

What is Pearland's big competitive strength?

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to what factors led Pearlanders to choose this part of town as opposed to other suburbs with comparable schools, retail offerings, etc. I know that an easy commute was a big motivator for a lot of folks, but now that there is so much traffic in that area, is it still a demand driver?

What is Pearland's big competitive strength?

I work in Clear Lake, my wife works downtown. We don't have the money to get what we want ITL. After that, it was a pretty easy decision to split the commute. If there were something similar in the "black hole" region along 288, we would have done that. I'm sure that's true of many people. I want a house with a yard, not sharing a wall with any neighbors, with reasonable commutes, for money that I can afford. The quality of home my wife and I want is not available ITL. In five years, if we're still in Houston, we will assuredly upgrade to something closer to downtown.

About 50% of my neighbors are either doctors or lawyers. Not a bad place to live if you are working in TMC and don't want/can't afford a $750k university place home. I don't think I would be going out on a limb to say that the residents of SCR are very well educated because of TMC influence. And I like that.

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to what factors led Pearlanders to choose this part of town as opposed to other suburbs with comparable schools, retail offerings, etc.

I'm not a Pearlander (although I can claim being a former resident...living a year or two on Dixie Farm Road in the mid-90's, before it was filled with subdivisions), but I bet that many choose Pearland over other parts of town just due to ties to the area.

From my personal point of view, I grew up on the southeast side of town (Beverly Hills/Sagemont) and have always lived and played on that side of town...Pasadena, South Houston, Clear Lake, Surfside, and now living near the South Loop. I can't imagine living anywhere else.

You couldn't stick me out in Katy...I just can't imagine a scenario where I'd choose to live out there. I couldn't picture myself in Spring...you might as well put me in Dallas. If I were to move out to the suburbs, I can only imagine it being in a few places: Pearland, Pasadena, or Clear Lake.

With the exception of 6 months in an apartment in the Heights, I've never lived north of I-10...it's kind of a foreign land up there to me. I'm sure that there are others from the north side that feel exactly the same way about the south side of town.

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What is Pearland's big competitive strength?

For me the catch was affordability and convenience.

I lived renting in the Galleria for Five years and when finally decided to buy, wanted a place close to my area of action (Downtown, Rice Village, Galleria).

Inside the loop I could get a little nice townhouse with no backyard for half a million. So after looking all over the place and with my previous experience living in Greatwood

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I'm not trying to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm curious as to what factors led Pearlanders to choose this part of town as opposed to other suburbs with comparable schools, retail offerings, etc. I know that an easy commute was a big motivator for a lot of folks, but now that there is so much traffic in that area, is it still a demand driver?

What is Pearland's big competitive strength?

I live in SCR and love it. It seems very comparable to Silverlake/creek, but there are a lot more builder options in SCR and one of my big reasons for choosing SCR is the recreation areas and running trails. I hate the fact that taxes are so high, but hopefully as the neighborhood continues to fill out that will be mitigated.

The reason I choose Pearland was because it was the halfway point between my job and my husband, as well as the proximity to downtown, the museum district, the stadium, etc. Granted traffic is bad during rush hour, but it's managable and I also go to Houston a lot on the weekends and at night. It's nice to be at my destination in about 15 - 20 minutes. I wouldn't mind living within the loop, but affordability is a big issue, as well as, we enjoy having space in and around our home. My husband would hate to live in a townhome or have a little postage size lot.

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I think Pearland's biggest strength is it's proximity of the city. Rush hour doesn't last forever. It's nice to be able to take my kids to the zoo or Children's Museum in 15 or 20 minutes.

I think the second biggest factor is that since the Pearland's West end is growing, it still has nice homes (new and older) available in the prime neighborhoods, in a variety of price ranges. I want a nice house, with a yard and good schools for my kids. Pearland has all of those things.

As far as why we chose Pearland as opposed to comparable suburbs. As for me and my family, we considered the following locations:

Sugar Land- Loved it, leased a house there before but when we were ready to buy we didn't see anything in the neighborhoods that we liked in our price range.

Katy (Cinco) - My husband refuses to live off the Katy Freeway. I would have chosen that area in a second though.

The Woodlands- Not practical at this time of our lives with the types of jobs we have. We don't want to spend all that time communting and no time with our kids. We have family there so maybe someday.

There were others areas as well but we had family near Pearland so that was the final deciding factor.

Finally as mentioned before, many, many medical center people live in Pearland. Rush hour is not always a factor with hospital staff who do shift work. Therefore, they get to live close to their jobs and not have to deal with rush hour.

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So what exactly are the property tax rates for the two communities of Silverlake versus SCR.

Is it really 4% of your home's appreciation value for SCR -- that seems very high.

I am prepared to pay 4.02%. I understand that the rate was being adjusted down, but don't know how much it will finally be. For sure it won't be much difference percentage wise.

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I am prepared to pay 4.02%. I understand that the rate was being adjusted down, but don't know how much it will finally be. For sure it won't be much difference percentage wise.

Will the taxes be headed lower for 2007? I just received my tax bill for 2006, but it was on the unimproved lot since we closed in May. I'm a little concerned about the next year but it is what it is.

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So what exactly are the property tax rates for the two communities of Silverlake versus SCR.

Is it really 4% of your home's appreciation value for SCR -- that seems very high.

In Silverlake, the tax rates vary depending on what MUD (Municipal Utility District) you are in. It ranges from 2.85% to the mid 3%. Generally, the older the neighborhood, the lower the MUD tax rate. SCR is 4.02%. Keep in mind, this is prior to your Homestead Exemption. If you are living in the home by January 1, you qualify for the Homestead Exemption which will exempt about 20% of your property's value from taxation. In other words a 3% tax rate would be closer to 2.4% with the Homestead Exemption. The tax rates may go down some more, but I don't know if Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD have set their rates for the year. Some districts have dropped this year like Katy ISD and Clear Creek ISD.

One other point for an out-of-towner, the property tax is our State Income Tax. We have no State tax, but we do pay a higher property tax and sales tax than many states to compensate. The property tax is deductible from your Federal Tax, so you will shelter some of that money.

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FYI, Alvin ISD has dropped their tax rate by $.16 from 1.70% to 1.54%. Pearland ISD has dropped their rate by $.13 from 1.7922% to 1.622%.

SCR's Homeowner's Association has instituted a recapture fee of $475 on each sales transaction in SCR. Either the Seller, the Buyer, or a combination will have to pay the fee at closing when a home is sold.

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We're looking at the 350,000-500,000 price range, so both areas have potential homes in that range that are on the market.

Considering your budget, I would check out Silvercreek. My wife and I loved some of the houses out there, but 300,000 was stretching our budget anyways so we ending up buying in SCR. SCR in our opinion has nicer options in the 200-300K range. Considering the tax rate difference as well, there should be something out there to suit yall very well.

That's not to say you won't find anything in SCR. You surely wll in your budget. And it is a great community. We love it out here despite the taxes.

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I have a new home under construction in Shadow Creek Ranch.

The tax rate in Brazoria County (the largest part of SCR), has decreased from 4.02% to 3.86%. This is still a high tax rate, but reductions are always welcome!

The Fort Bend section is 3.73%. I am not sure if this is different than previous years, but I don't think it is.

We picked SCR because we wanted a new, master planned community. We currently live inside the loop, so the proximity to town is an added benefit to us. We can go from our current home to the new one, with no traffic, in just 15 minutes.

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$500k will buy you a 6000 ft2 McMansion in SCR.

You can get an enormous 4000 ft2 loaded for $350k

Enjoy the 3.5% taxes per year on that.

Unless you have a whole mess of kids I don't know why you need something that big. And if you are coming from Boston with cash in your pocket from realestate profits there are much better things to invest in than suburban mega homes in Houston.

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We are in Houston and thinking about moving to SCR and concerned about two things

1)Tax

2)Flood

We are OK with taxes and (optimistically beleive it will come down once the community matures) but not sure about the flood. Realtors tell us SCR in not on 100 year OR 500 year FloodPlain and it could be correct. Also, being a MasterPlanned Communinty, we dont think there will be any flooding in-and-around the house. But how about the highways ? 288 / almeda. Those are the only two paths to downtown/TMC/Galleria. Last time when it rained heavily (October ?), all local channels were celebrating with live coverage of 288 flooding. How severe is it ? If 288 floods, which section of 288 is it ? Also, how about almeda? Since almeda lies lower to 288, I think Almeda would be serverly affected than 288.

We are debating between SCR and Telfair right now. Telfair (SugarLand Community) is bit more expensive than SCR, has high tax rates ( ~ 4.0%) but never heard of any flooding issues. Also, Hwy 59 construction (in downtown) is almost complete and people say trafiic is not THAT big of an issue. Seems like it takes 40-55 minutes from Telfair/FirstColony/NewTerritory to downtown now. Also, SouthMain/Alt-90 (From 610 loop to Hwy6) is being converted as a Hwy and construction is in full swing and 3 flyovers are already open to traffic. Once this construction is complete, I think traffic may not be an issue for folks in sugarland. telfair/NT/FC is in Fortbend ISD and they have some of the best schools.

Its a tough decision since I work at downtown and spouse works at Medical center. SCR is very close to Medical Center, but with the expansion of Pearland area, I am concerned about Hwy 288 becoming traffic nighmare in another 3 years.

Edited by brain

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We are in Houston and thinking about moving to SCR and concerned about two things

1)Tax

2)Flood

We are OK with taxes and (optimistically beleive it will come down once the community matures) but not sure about the flood. Realtors tell us SCR in not on 100 OR 500 FloodPlain and it could be correct. Also, being a MasterPlanned Communinty, we dont think there will be any flooding in-and-around the house. But how about the highways ? 288 / almeda. Those are the only two paths to downtown/TMC/Galleria. Last time when it rained heavily (October ?), all local channels were celebrating with Live coverage of 288 flooding. How severe is it ? If 288 floods, which section of 288 is it ? Also, how about almeda. Since almeda lies lower to 288, I think Almeda would be serverly affected than 288.

We are debating between SCR and Telfair right now. Telfair (SugarLand Community) too has high tax rates but never heard of any flooding issues. Also, Hwy 59 construction (in downtown) is almost complete and people say trafiic is notTHAT big of an issue. Seems like it takes 40-55 minutes from Telfair/FirstColony/NewTerritory to downtown now. Also, SouthMain/Alt-90 (From 610 loop to Hwy6) is being converted as a Hwy and construction is in full swing and 3 flyovers are already open to traffic. Once this construction is complete, I think traffic may not be an issue for folks in sugarland. telfair/NT/FCM is in Fortbend ISD and they have some of the best schools.

Its a tough decision since I work at downtown and spouse works at Medical center. SCR is very close to Medical Center, but with the expansion of Pearland area, I am concerned about Hwy 288 becoming traffic nighmare in another 3 years.

288 only has severe flooding problems inside the loop, where there is a trench that cuts through the Braes Bayou floodway. It is very well contained, though, and I don't think that you'd have problems getting to the Galleria area. Also, the flooding only occurs on a pretty rare basis. If you only run a 0.3% chance of running really really late as a result of flooding on any given commute, I'd say that that's not really a problem compares to car crashes and other everyday traffic nuisances.

You are correct about traffic lightening up from Sugar Land, though. That kind of relief may be a long ways off for Pearland...on the other hand, as you said, SCR is closer-in. It's probably tit for tat.

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While we never looked for houses in Telfair, my understanding is that Telfair is significantly more expensive than SCR and other communities around us like Southern Trails and Silvercreek.

I think the commute to downtown will be a wash, unless you are able to work non-standard hours. I work in downtown as well and have the little bit of flexibility to get in at 9:30. Because of that I can leave my home at 9 or a few minutes after, and drive to downtown, park in my garage and the five minute walk to my office and be in the office at 9:30. If you can manage your hours, SCR's proximity to downtown IMO is a huge advantage over Sugarland, where you have a 30+ mile drive no matter what. Your wife will enjoy her commute to the med center from SCR.

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