Marquee construction: loud, long and expensive

When driving down Alafaya, drivers get a view of the blue wall of tarps that are part of The Marquees' multi-phase renovation. This construction began in summer of 2020, and looks to continue into 2022, causing residents annoyance through noise, an increase in rent prices and parking struggles.

Molly Golden sets up her towel at the seventh floor of the parking garage and pulls out her headphones. As she lays down, she remembers to increase the volume higher to drown out the noise of construction workers below.

“They’ve been going since August,” Golden said. “It feels like this may be our new normal.”

Golden, a sophomore communications and disorders major, is just one of the residents at The Marquee having to deal with the current construction and renovation occurring in the building. The project, which started in summer of 2021, looks to renovate the apartments with new paint jobs, layout and amenities, but has also increased rent, disrupted parking, and been extended into 2022, according to emails sent to returning residents. 

"My rent for fall increased by almost 50 dollars,” Golden said. “All that for a paint job and new furniture.”

Golden said she enjoys sun bathing on the roof of the parking garage, but said the noise also bothers her.

“When I’m trying to relax, it almost always gets ruined by construction equipment being used,” Golden said.

Golden’s not alone, as other residents also cite the noise as annoying, some to the point of physical pain. Brandon Freeman, a biomed major, says the construction causes him pain.

“I have tinnitus, so if the noise is really bad, it physically hurts,” Freeman said.

While Freeman also is not happy about the rent increase, he said that the project does cost money and The Marquee has their own bills to pay. He said he hopes that the project can enter its next phase so residents can have access to the amenities at the complex.

“Due to construction, they moved all the main office employees into the rec room, which we no longer have access to,” Freeman said.

Brandon Freeman, Marquee Resident, speaks about the struggles he is experiencing during the construction, including an increase in payment and changes to his shuttle route. Freeman said he also looks for the positives of the construction, including new renovations for future residents.

William Parcell, a member of the front office, said he understands residents are frustrated with the construction, but assured them to look forward.

“This renovation is going to only improve the quality of living at The Marquee,” Parcell said.

Parcell said the construction benefited from COVID-19 as it was easier to move residents into a different building. Residents who were previously living in the building had to be moved to avoid interfering with any construction.

“The pandemic was a blessing in disguise,” Parcell said. “With less people here, shifting people from one building to another was less of a hassle.”

Parcell has said that The Marquee does not have a set date for the end of the project and that the end coincides with the plan to reopen campus.

Golden said she hopes the project concludes soon so she can get back to her relaxing days in the sun.

“I enjoy coming to the roof because there’s no shade, but the noise cancels that out,” Golden said. “Hopefully that ends sooner rather than later.”

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