Stockton University students walk across the school's seal.

Michael Ein

The board of directors for the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park will hold a special meeting at Richard Stockton College next week for what officials call a historic announcement.

Officials have previously said the parties are working on a deal that could lead to the college’s involvement in a lease transfer for the NextGen park located at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township

The meeting will take place 3 p.m. Wednesday, board chairman Ed Salmon said in the only public comments made following an executive session of the board that lasted more than an hour.

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The South Jersey Economic Development District currently has a lease with the Federal Aviation Administration for the park’s land. Talk of transferring that lease to the park’s board began last year after the parties learned that the district had fallen into significant debt while leading the project.

First announced in 2005, the park is expected to be a development of seven buildings leveraging partnerships between government, academia and the private sector.

Stockton played a lead role in some of the park’s first announcements. The college is one of several entities and private sector representatives with a seat on the park’s board.

On Wednesday, Salmon also announced that the board’s executive committee voted to extend the contract of park Executive Director Ron Esposito through Feb. 28, 2015. Esposito will continue at a salary of $150,000 — the same rate at which he was hired in 2010.

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