Press Release April 27, 2021

MDI YMCA and The Jackson Laboratory Agree to Discontinue Childcare Plans

BAR HARBOR, ME – The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and the MDI YMCA have mutually agreed to discontinue plans for the construction of a childcare facility on the YMCA site in Bar Harbor. The space would have been an expansion of the MDI YMCA designed to accommodate 55 children, operated by the Downeast Family YMCA in Ellsworth and funded by The Jackson Laboratory.

“We put a lot of time into this project - and a lot of heart,” said JAX Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Catherine “Katy” Longley. “Despite the strength and longevity of our partnerships with the MDI YMCA and the Downeast Family YMCA, the impact of the project costs has brought us to the decision to take a step back from this arrangement at this time. We remain strongly committed to providing a suitable site for childcare on MDI and will quickly consider other options for our employees.”

“We share the Laboratory’s disappointment that this project will not be proceeding as planned,” said Scott Hammond, chair of the MDI YMCA Board of Directors. “We were fully supportive of the partnership with JAX and the opportunity to leverage the Downeast Family YMCA’s experience in running their childcare facility. The combination of institutions created a really exciting model. Regrettably, as the conversations continued and the costs continued to escalate, we came to the mutual understanding and agreement that the plan just isn’t viable at this time. We look forward to a continued strong relationship with both The Jackson Laboratory, and our Y-family in Ellsworth at Downeast Family YMCA.”

The Jackson Laboratory continues to recruit for dozens of positions in Bar Harbor, and remains committed to both childcare and to the workforce housing project recently approved by the Bar Harbor Planning Board.

“Affordable childcare and housing remain critical factors in retaining and recruiting a world-class workforce in Maine and here on Mount Desert Island,” said Longley.