Image of exterior of the Dyson Center.

Dyson Center Update



Supporting Local Workers and the Local Economy

Construction of the new Dyson Center is a $60 million project that will have employed more than 350 workers by the project's completion. Skilled laborers and trades from throughout the Hudson Valley are contributing to this impressive facility, which will provide a hub for innovative learning, collaboration, and professional training for generations of Marist students.

Over the last several months, one local union (DC-9) has been engaged in an informational picketing about the project due to a dispute they have with a carpentry subcontractor that is using non-union labor for drywall taping. 

The union also has been misleadingly directing criticism at Marist and sharing inaccurate information about the College. We respect any union’s right to picket, but we’re disappointed they’re trying to characterize this as a Marist decision and believe it is important that the community has accurate information about this project.

The Facts

  • The union picketing taking place on Rt. 9 outside the College entrance is not about Marist or its employees.
    • This is the union’s attempt to show their disagreement with a carpentry subcontractor’s use of non-union labor for drywall taping on the Dyson Center construction.
    • Their sign referencing "they won’t pay workers the area standard" is referring to the subcontractor’s pay, not Marist employees'.
  • Marist is not involved in the hiring of any subcontractors for this project and has no role in this dispute. 
    • Pike Construction, as construction manager, handles that process. 
  • According to Pike Construction Spokeswoman Heather Mistretta:
    • Union and non-union firms were given an opportunity to bid the project and the majority of the subcontracts were awarded to union firms.
    • Subcontracts were awarded based on cost, quality, and availability.
  • The issue is not having an impact on construction and the Dyson Center is scheduled to open on time for the fall 2024 semester.


Marist College is supportive of including union workers in the projects it undertakes and is proud of its ability to contribute to a thriving Hudson Valley region through employment; the intellectual capital our students, faculty, and staff bring to the area; our support of local community partners; and the thousands of people we attract to the region and the local economy each year through our proud alumni, current students, and their families.

We look forward to celebrating the opening of this dynamic new facility with the entire community this fall.

The following statement was provided by Pike Construction Services on March 21, 2024.

As the Construction Manager for the renovation and expansion of the Dyson Center at Marist College, we want to respond to recent activities, by the Painters Union, outside the Dyson Center construction site. Pike believes that statements made by the Painters Union demonstrators at the project site, characterizing this as a Marist issue, are false and misleading. Any attacks on Marist College are unjustified, as the College does not decide which subcontractors Pike should engage in order to perform the project.

Pike uses many subcontractors whose employees are unionized. Indeed, over half of the workers on the Dyson Center project have been represented by labor unions. The project was bid to firms whether they are signatory to the union or not, and the majority of the subcontracts were awarded to union firms.

Recently, the Painters Union demanded that one of the project’s second tier subcontractors employ only workers who are members of the Painters Union. Pike’s subcontractor met recently with the Painters Union to discuss the possibility of adding some union workers to the job. However, the Painters Union took the position that it had to represent all of the second tier subcontractor’s employees working on the Dyson Center project. Pike’s subcontractor could not accept this all or nothing demand, particularly because every employee has the right to choose whether or not they want the Painters Union to represent them.

For over 150 years Pike Construction Services has been committed to providing the highest level of construction satisfaction to our clients and the communities we serve. An Equal Opportunity Employer, Pike is committed to supporting and developing our employees to make the most of their potential and to build the skills they need to be successful.