Matt King - Yes, there is shade nearby, on the same grassy slope not far from the stairs. This has also been suggested by others and is starting to look like where it will be. I plan to develop the film myself and initially do a hybrid work flow, which I know how to do, and then *maybe* use it as my introduction to darkroom work in my new bathroom setup.
This will be right outside the building where we work so there is plenty of opportunity for practice.
There was a general corporate group photo taken on the stairs a few years ago at high noon and it was just awful. My boss's husband did a digital portrait of our small group 6 years ago in this same location that was very nice. The group has grown a quite a bit since then and so deserves documenting. I am hoping that doing it in B&W will avoid comparison with his work.